Aquatic Physical Therapy: Safer, Faster Healing

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Sep 22, 2010

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Utah - Utah

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Aquatic Physical Therapy, especially in a modern therapy pool with a treadmill that can be raised and lowered, offers enhanced care and faster recovery from many medical problems. Modern therapy pools offer monitoring cameras so therapists can watch exercising from multiple angles from the side of the pool. They also have recording capability to use in instructing patients on what they are doing right and wrong. Many also offer therapy jets to relax stiff and sore muscles or for increased resistance.
Because of the buoyancy of water, the stress of certain exercises is dramatically reduced if done with Aquatic Physical Therapy. A 200 lb. person in a therapy pool with water at half the persons height only experiences the equivalent of exercising while weighing 100 lbs. Buoyancy reduces compressive forces on joints allowing those with chronic pain to walk with greater ease. In addition, while exercising in a pool, the chance of falling is nearly zero. It is a much safer environment than exercising on land.
Aquatic Physical Therapy pools can help with many types of rehabilitation exercise, such as are needed after knee or hip surgery. Because of the reduced impact from exercising, therapy can begin up to three weeks earlier than land-based exercises. Not only does this allow faster recovery, but with exercising sooner, it is easier to prevent deconditioning that comes from waiting too long after surgery for therapy to start.
Aquatic Physical Therapy can help those recovering from back surgery, suffering from arthritis, dealing with respiratory problems and those suffering from chronic pain. It can help with rheumatic disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia.
Exercising in an aquatic therapy pool can increase blood flow to an injured area faster. This will increase healing and recovery.
Additionally, one of the strengths of aquatic therapy is that it is appropriate for any phase of rehabilitation and for all ages.
If you think that aquatic physical therapy might help you, talk to your doctor. He can help access if aquatic physical therapy will be a help with your specific medical issues.

Editors Note: This article was submitted by Lyle Black, MPT, Director of Rehabilitation for Sunshine Terrace Foundation. He may be reached at 435-754-0281.

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