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Aquatic Physical Therapy

Aquatic Physical Therapy

Aquatic physical therapy had becoming a popular treatment application for a multitude of diagnosis. Individuals who can benefits from aquatic physical therapy include, but are not limited to, those with acute, chronic or post surgical lower back and and/or leg pain, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, pre and post operative joint replacement, fractures and more acute injuries such as ankle and knee sprains.

Our rehabilitation goals may include pain relief, improved mobility, improved posture and improved ability to weight bear/walk. We can take advantage of some or all of the properties of the water to help achieve our therapeutic goals. The properties of water are buoyancy, hydrostatic pressure and viscosity.

Buoyancy is an upward force. Buoyancy is what contributes to the weightless feeling once you enter the water. Buoyancy can increase pain free mobility and can improve postural alignment. The factor of buoyancy is often the primary reason why an individual might seek aquatic therapy. This decompression of the joints can be crucial in allowing patients to better tolerate therapeutic activity and exercise.

Hydrostatic pressure is a constant force that is exerted by fluid molecules when your body is submerged. This pressure can help improve circulation and decrease swelling in the legs.

Viscosity, or drag force, is the turbulence that is created when one moved fast through the water. This resistance with movement can improve muscle strength and endurance.

Aquatic therapy can be performed in a wide range of temperatures but warmer temperatures are more favorable for non swimming activities. Many therapy pools range from 92-96 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you think you might be a candidate for aquatic therapy question your provider. Aquatic therapy is ideal for many conditions, particularly those who have had a limited or poor response to other treatment options.

Valerie McGrath, PT

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