What is Aquatic Therapy?
The term “aquatic therapy” refers to pain or mobility-related treatments or exercises that are conducted in the water, with the intention of relaxing or rehabilitating the body. People who are undergoing a treatment plan involving Aquatic Therapy may find themselves fully submerged in the water, partly submerged, or even just floating.
Because Aquatic Therapy is comprised of low-impact exercises conducted in water, the lack of a gravitational pull on the body takes the pressure off the joints and muscles. Since water also provides mild resistance, an aquatic-based exercise plan can also help strengthen the body’s muscles, which can aid in healing.
Availability and Accessibility
Brickyard Physiotherapy has partnered with Beban pool to provide accessible for people with all ranges of mobility, as well as the use of water-safe wheelchairs for people with more limited movement.
Brickyard Physiotherapy offers a program on Tuesdays and Thursdays, between 2 and 3pm, for the use of private clients as well as WCB and ICBC claimants. Physiotherapist Dustin Richter will customize an appropriate aquatic exercise plan that is suited for the patient’s individual needs, as well as train them to perform each exercise safely and for maximum efficacy.
The Benefits of Aquatic Therapy
- Alleviates low back pain
- Eases pain resulting from hip and knee conditions, as well as arthritis.
- Eases shoulder injuries and post-surgical rehabilitation
- Increases joint flexibility. Because the natural buoyancy of the human body reduces the effects of gravity, joints have an increased range of motion. This buoyancy will also help reduce pain in the affected areas; if the water is warm, it will relax sore or tight muscles.
- Helps increase strength. Since water provides 600-700 times more resistance than air, it offers a comfortable environment in which to strengthen weakened muscles. In the water, resistance comes from all sides of the moving body. Out of the water, the patient would need to complete two or three different exercises to get the same results.
- Decreases muscle pain. Immersion in warm water relaxes the body by stimulating the blood circulation, increasing the blood supply going to the sore muscles. By easing the pull of gravity, the pressure created by the body’s natural weight is temporarily lifted off of weakened body structure, thus decreasing pain and edema. This, in turn, can increase the patient’s range of motion and blood circulation by assisting the heart and decreasing blood pooling in the extremities.
- Improves balance. Since being immersed in the water creates uniform pressure on all sides of the body, and buoyancy provides support, the patient has an increased amount of time to react if they stumble. Thus, there is no fear of falling and getting hurt.