Aquatic therapy: is it for you?December 7, 2011
The answer most of the time is a resounding – YES, aquatic therapy will benefit you! There are very few blanket statements that I will make about the medical field in general, but this is certainly one of them. It is the reason after running a few physical therapy clinics and overseeing literally hundreds, I made the decision to put a pool in this clinic. Not every clinic has a pool and I would argue that you may not be doing everything to help your rehabilitation. Gains for just about any injury can be made so much more quickly when an individual is placed in an aquatic therapy program. Do you know that every training room in the NFL has a pool? When you want to know what the best therapy that money can buy is, look in a professional sports teams’ training room. They have the latest and greatest and money is no object. Yes that’s right, professional athletes utilize aquatic therapy in their rehabilitation – yes, aquatic therapy is for everyone. For more information on physical therapy services head to www.totalperformancept.com.
A common misconception is that a pool is for people who have just had surgery or older individuals that can’t workout on the land. The truth is that the pool is a great therapy tool for anyone from the youngest of ages to the oldest. Aquatic therapy is perfect for the most active of individual, professional athlete, inactive individual, overweight, weekend warrior, or elderly individual. Getting into an aquatic therapy program can make your rehab go far quicker and less painless with the addition of aquatic therapy.
Most often times people think aquatic therapy is just getting into the water and walking around, slowly, gently, controlled. However, this is not even close to being correct. Aquatic therapy can certainly be gentle controled walking where the goal is just to simply take the weight off the back and legs. However, aquatic therapy can also be putting a weight belt on and doing non weight bearing sprints for stress fractures in runners. Have Achilles tendonitis and want to return to your weekend football game? Getting into a pool can allow for a quick return to that weekend sport, where as with just a land program you will have to rest and not be allowed to strengthen for a few weeks.
Aquatic therapy can help almost any type of condition in any part of the body; hip, knee, shoulder, ankle, back, neck, and any other ailing areas. Water has healing properties that cannot be met on land. First resistance is provided with each and every movement. Now we often don’t think of water as resistance but in fact it is a great form of resistance. Even if you were to put leg weights on while walking on land, you cannot achieve this. So not only can get an aerobic workout but can also be strengthening with the easiest of exercises.
Hydrostatic pressure is another property of aquatic therapy that is unparalleled. This pressure is the pressure you feel when you are in the water, placed on your body by the surrounding water. Most people do not pay attention to the pressure placed on thier bodies while in the water but this in fact has very real healing properties and allows for decreasing edema in the extremities.
What about the low back pain that occurs when you are pregnant? This is due to the excess weight being carried around and pulling your low back into poor posture. The further along you get in your trimesters working out on land becomes more difficult although most of the research now points to the fact that exercising while pregnant is beneficial for mother and baby. Entering into a water therapy program will allow you to be able to move and take pressure off your overworked ligaments and back. Aquatic therapy and pregnancy go hand in hand. The water will support your baby and you while taking the pressure off of your back and the surrounding structures. And every pregnant woman knows, even a few minutes of relief can mean the world.
I often see people who have been suffering in pain for many years and have ‘tried’ physical therapy. They have wound up hating it and not going back as it only ‘made them worse’. Sometimes forcing things to be done on land will yield no results and sometimes actually make people worse. It can often be the healing properties found in water that help people have a ‘miraculous’ recovery.
Call Total Performance Physical Therapy today to schedule your pool appointment!