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Aquatic therapy, also known as pool therapy, is an exercise program performed in the water with a physical therapist for rehabilitation. The therapist can leverage the physical properties of water, such as buoyancy, to offload body weight and assist in exercise performance. The viscosity of water also provides a source of resistance that can be used to improve strength and endurance. This type of therapy is beneficial for those with difficulty or pain performing weight-bearing physical activities in a traditional land-based rehabilitation program.

Aquatic therapy can be helpful for people of all abilities and does not require the ability to swim. The most common conditions aquatic therapy is recommended for include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Obesity
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Joint replacement
  • Neurological conditions such as stroke, MS, and cerebral palsy
  • Sports injuries
  • Fractures
  • Sprains and strains

Common Goals of Aquatic Therapy

There are many treatment goals that aquatic therapy can help achieve. Some of the benefits of aquatic therapy include the following:

  • Improving flexibility
  • Improving balance and coordination
  • Building muscle strength and endurance
  • Developing aerobic capacity
  • Training gait and locomotion
  • Reducing stress and promoting relaxation

What to Expect From an Aquatic Therapy Session

Aquatic therapy is performed in a heated pool to provide a comfortable therapeutic environment. You should wear a bathing suit or other clothing that can get wet, which allows a free range of motion. It is recommended to bring water, aqua shoes, and a towel.

Your session will be run by a licensed physical therapist or physical therapy assistant who will provide an individualized exercise program to address your particular conditions. The session will start with a warm-up and progress into exercises targeted to your specific treatment goals.

For more details or to get started with aquatic therapy, contact Breakthru Physical Therapy + Fitness today.

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