The Benefits of Aquatic Therapy
Swimming pools have many fun and healthy uses. They’re fun to splash in, they’re great for cooling off in the sweltering summer heat and they can help you shed a few extra pounds. You may not think of swimming pools as a tool for rehabilitation therapy, but you should.
Aquatic therapy is the use of water movement and exercise in the rehabilitation of people with disabilities or injuries. With the water heated to a warm 92 to 94 degrees, aquatic therapy can help reduce pain, increase range of motion and improve daily function for people with physical limitations. It is easier to move in water, which can be especially helpful for people with arthritis pain or limitations with movement.
Aquatic therapy can also be used to maintain and improve fitness following a physical therapy regimen. In fact, individuals often go through physical therapy in the pool and then transition to an aquatic fitness program to maintain their health and well-being.
There are many aquatic therapy options available to keep your workouts fresh and exciting. Aqua aerobics increases strength, balance, endurance and range of motion. Aqua yoga/Pilates increases relaxation, releases stress, strengthens the body core and tones muscles. Circuit training and Ai Chi classes also can aid in improving strength and range of motion.
I have found that our Water Walking Program is popular with individuals who have gone through aquatic physical therapy. It is an independent exercise program designed to allow individuals to continue with the exercises they learned in physical therapy.
There are also programs specifically geared to people with arthritis, which are designed to ease joint pain and increase mobility.
So if you’ve got achy joints or problems with an old injury, grab your suit and towel and head to the pool. Now pools aren’t just fun, they are therapeutic too.
Good Shepherd offers all of the aquatic programs referenced in this blog. For information, click here.