Aquatic Physical Therapy Benefits
Many PT's love to use the swimming pool as a tool to help patients suffering from pain, especially those patients that would otherwise have limited mobility on land. Aquatic physical therapy is often used for patients with neurological conditions. Neurological conditions can include people who have suffered a stroke, sufferers of Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Water is a unique environment for patients to move and to learn how to exercise more efficiently. For example, people with Parkinson's disease, have difficulty with the movement where balance is often a problem for them and the water provides a safe environment where they will not injure themselves. Patients can move in an aquatic environment with ease compared to land. The PT can challenge their patients and get better results and the progress will often transfer to land and have better movement when they return home.
There are a lot of physiologic benefits for using the water for rehabilitation. First and foremost, it feels good. At the same time that it feels good you are off-loading weight from the joints of the body because of the buoyancy of the water, you are also decreasing the workload of the heart. It improves circulation to the muscles. It decreases the stress level in the nervous system and causes a feeling of relaxation.
The job of the physical therapist is to help the patient feel comfortable, to help them move, so they feel better, and hopefully, the result will be better movement on land, to let them enjoy the aquatic environment while progressing their motor skills.
Aquatic therapy is often used for athletes, using the pool for at least thirty percent of their training volume. Athletes also use the pool because of injury and use it for their rehabilitation. Aquatic PT helps athletes to return to performance levels at a faster pace than expected sometimes exceeding the level where they were before. Aquatic physical therapy is phenomenal for getting results for a variety of different patients.
Probably one the most impacting factor about working out in a pool is the smiles. The water makes your patients smile, whereas if they are working out in a gym they may not be smiling. Aquatic PT sports that enable movement are a win/win for you and your patients alike.