The Benefits of Aquatic Therapy

What is Aquatic Therapy?

Both Occupational and Physical Therapists can provide Aquatic Therapy — there are some  differences in goals between the two.

The main goals of Aquatic Therapy include:

  • improving balance
  • coordination
  • blood circulation
  • core stability
  • endurance
  • flexibility
  • muscle tone
  • posture
  • strength

History of Aquatic Therapy

Water has been used to promote health since as early as 460 B.C. The use of water to treat conditions and diseases has evolved over the years.

Common Goals of Aquatic Therapy

This section discusses the common goals of Aquatic Therapy and how they are achieved based on the properties of water and how they impact the functions and movements of the body.

What is Included in Aquatic Therapy?

Generally, Aquatic Therapy utilizes a warm-up, fitness and strength training, core training, and a cool down. 

Conditions that can Benefit from Aquatic Therapy

Aquatic Therapy can be beneficial for individuals with a wide range of conditions. The different properties of water can benefit each individual and condition differently.

Overall Benefits of Aquatic Therapy

Buoyancy and Viscosity are two properties of water that can influence and impact an individual’s ability to move in the water. Buoyancy decreases the amount of weight that has to be borne on the joints. Viscosity is the resistance of the water and serves to strengthen the muscles. 

Hydrostatic pressure serves to decrease joint swelling and improve joint awareness. Warm water also serves to relax the muscles and vasodilate the blood vessels.

Benefits of Aquatic Therapy for Stroke Survivors

This section discusses the benefits of aquatic therapy specifically for survivors of stroke. Aquatic therapy can help individuals increase their cardio capacity, muscle strength, and mobility. 

Safety Considerations for Aquatic Therapy

Sensible precautions should be taken when participating in aquatic therapy. Individuals should consult with their physician before beginning aquatic therapy. 

Mental Health & Aquatic Therapy

Aquatic Therapy can reduce stress, improve outlook on recovery and confidence, and increase body awareness.