September 23, 2020
We all know that
drinking water leads to a healthier life, and we need it to survive. But did
you know that when an injury or ailment arises, getting into the water can have
a major impact on your path of recovery?
When we speak of aquatic therapy, we are referring to the
physical use of water and the utilization of its properties to make a person’s
recovery both more comfortable and quicker. Aquatic therapy refers to
water-based treatments or exercises of therapeutic intent, in particular for
relaxation, fitness, recovery and physical rehabilitation.
Nazee Zahedi-Eells, Physical Therapist, specializes in aquatic therapy. She was able to answer some of the frequently asked questions about aquatic
therapy with us.
What is aquatic therapy?
therapy is the same as physical therapy that you would perform on land; however,
we use the water as a medium to make it more comfortable. Water has many
different properties that help you progress along your healing process. Below
are a few principles of exercising in the aquatic environment that can help you
during your rehabilitation process:
Buoyancy, this is quite literally a force
that lifts you up! This reduces stress on your joints. So if you have trouble
walking due to the pressure on your joints, this force will help you feel more
comfortable as the water takes some of the weight off your painful
Resistance, the water wants to stay in its
place, so it pushes against you! This is wonderful for people who want to get
stronger, but are not ready to work with resistance bands or weights. It allows
you to gently strengthen your entire body slowly, so that you can reach your
goals at a pace that's right for you.
Hydrostatic pressure, this can help with
swelling. Have you ever notice as you dive deeper into a pool or the ocean your
ears start to hurt? This is hydrostatic pressure at work! It is basically the
pressure of the water on your body. The reason why it helps with swelling, is
that your body notices that there is more pressure down by your feet
(hydrostatic pressure increases the deeper you are immersed) and your kidneys
actually adjust their hormone levels to help balance the fluid levels in your
What can I expect during my first visit?
just be getting used to the exercises! The first visit usually entails getting
used to controlling your body against all this forces, and improving what we in
the PT world called "neuromuscular control." Aquatic therapy is all
about body awareness, so you may be moving slower than what you're used
to. But that will help you in a long run.
the water warm?
Yes! The water is 92* Fahrenheit.
I have to swim and put my head underwater?
you will not. While you are welcome to swim if you like, the pool's dimensions are
10 ft x 6 ft, so you will have to do your flip turn quickly after push off!
long does an aquatic therapy session last?
about 45 minutes.
conditions would keep me from being able to receive Aquatic Therapy?
shouldn’t enter the pool if you have an open wound, chronic kidney disease,
uncontrolled & severely high blood pressure, or uncontrolled epilepsy.
should I bring?
water, a good attitude, and a willingness to step out of your comfort zone!
More questions about Aquatics? Call us today! (800) 903-4142
Written by: Nazee Zahedi-Eells, PT, DPT, LSVT BIG