Q: Why should I use aquatic physical therapy instead of traditional land therapy?A:
LESS PAIN, MORE GAIN! There are many benefits of aquatic therapy! While submerged in water, buoyancy assists in supporting the weight of the individual. This decreases the amount of weight bearing which reduces the force of stress placed on the joints. This aspect of aquatic therapy can be especially useful for patients with arthritis, healing fractured bones, or who are overweight. By decreasing the amount of joint stress it is easier and less painful to perform exercises.
The resistance of the water allows for muscle strengthening without the need of weights. Using resistance coupled with the water's buoyancy allows a person to strengthen muscle groups with decreased joint stress that can not be experienced on land.
Aquatic therapy also utilizes hydrostatic pressure to decrease swelling in the joints and soft tissue. The hydrostatic pressure produces forces perpendicular to the body's surface. This pressure provides joint positional awareness to the patient. As a result, patient proprioception is improved. This is important for patients who have experienced joint sprains, as when ligaments are torn, our proprioception becomes decreased.