Let's get physical (therapy)!
Body aches, poor cardiovascular endurance, and other ailments are enough to hobble anyone. Fortunately, a simple regimen involving aquatic therapy can make a significant difference in improving a person’s condition.
And, what better way to exercise than in the pool anyway?! Aquatic therapy, to be more specific, includes treatments and exercises that are performed in water.
A Brief History:
Records show that aquatic therapy as a means of healing dates back as far as 2400 BC. Early civilizations, such as those in Egypt, Greece, and Rome, were some of the first that turned to water for therapeutic purposes. As time went on, other cultures adopted the practice and advanced it further by using the thermal effects of water to soothe body tissue and reduce pain.
Doctor Charles Leroy Lowman, founder of the Orthopedic Hospital in Los Angeles, used therapeutic tubs to treat spastic patients and those with cerebral palsy. In 1937, Dr. Lowman published his Technique of Underwater Gymnastics: A Study in Practical Application, in which he explained detailed aquatic therapy methods for specific underwater exercises that “carefully regulated dosage, character, frequency, and duration for remedying bodily deformities and restoring muscle function.”
At the end of the day, here’s the most important takeaway: There are numerous different methods of aquatic therapy, and nearly as many benefits for your body.
1. Increased joint flexibilityThe water helps relax muscles that are sore or tight. Buoyancy is key here: it reduces gravity and its effects on the body, increasing the range of motion for the joints.
2. Increased muscle strengthSince water is more resistant than air, the ability to build muscle increases compared to how it would be under normal exercise conditions.
3. Decreased pain
The less pain, the more you can endure! Immersion helps nurture an individual’s comfort by increasing blood supply to sore muscles and aiding in relaxation.
4. Decreased abnormal tone, spasticity, and rigidity
With the use of hands-on techniques and a temperature above 92 degrees, a neutral warmth is achieved lower increased tone as a result of a neurological injury.
5. Improved balance
Pressure and buoyancy lends support to the body, giving an individual a faster reaction time without the fear of falling or getting hurt.
6. Improved cardiovascular efficiency
Exercising requires one main component: the cardiovascular system. Because of the hydrostatic pressure in the water, aquatic exercise increases endurance, lowers resting heart rate, and increases oxygen consumption.
So, Who is Aquatic Therapy For?
At the end of the day, just about everyone will benefit in some way from exercising in the water. However, when it comes to aquatic therapy, there are some patients who will find it most useful. Aquatic therapy might be especially great for you if you have struggled with:
2. Low back pain
3. Knee and hip replacement
4. Shoulder disorders
5. Recovery of joint and spine surgery
6. Orthopedic or sport injuries
7. Multiple sclerosis
10. Cerebral Palsy
Whether aquatic therapy will benefit your more physically or mentally, it provides nearly everyone with the means to improve. If you are curious about starting aquatic therapy, ask your doctor or primary healthcare provider and see if it is a healthy option for you!
We hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as we love writing it. If you’re curious about other benefits of being in the water, scroll through our blog for some of our other posts on the benefits of swimming.