The Healing Powers of Aquatic Therapy

Want to get active again, but whenever you exercise you’re in too much pain to move the next day?  Let aquatic therapy help.

Dan Murphy PT, DPT
Clinic Director of North Wales location

Many people have good intentions with regards to exercise.  Some are fortunate enough that they can begin exercising after a period of not doing so and essentially pick up where they left off, reaping the benefits as a result.  However, many are not able to simply “pick up and go.”  For many – whether an injury, time constraints, surgery, or other obstacle has led to a period of inactivity – returning to an active lifestyle is a process in and of itself.  The interest of this brief article is to illustrate for those out there that feel they fall into this category, that there is a strong alternative: Aquatic therapy can serve as a gateway for a safe, healthy return to regular exercise.

Oftentimes, attempts to return to a regular exercise regimen are accompanied with widespread pain, especially in the muscles and joints.  This is a discouraging obstacle, but aquatic therapy can help alleviate a sizable portion of this discomfort.  Because of the properties of water, up to 90% of the body’s weight is unweighted.  This allows for joints to move through ranges of motion that would be too painful or too restricted outside of the water.  Normal range of motion, then, is restored, which improves joint health and flexibility of the surrounding muscles.  Furthermore – because of the built-in resistance of the water – the body’s musculature is strengthened as it works through newly-acquired range of motion.  There are cardiovascular benefits, too: Because the water is kept at a warm temperature – at Total Performance Physical Therapy, we keep the temperature at 92° – the body perspires at an advanced rate which can boost metabolism and aid in weight loss.  Furthermore, the water pressure increases the demands on the lunges which leads to cardiorespiratory benefits during aquatic therapy.  Very clearly, the enhancing effects of aquatic therapy are wide-ranging and applicable to a large percentage of the population.

For those out there who have a desire to get active and feel as though they could benefit from the effects of aquatic therapy described above, I strongly advise you to come in for a risk-free consultation.  Our practice utilizes these consultations to provide recommendations as to the optimal plan of care for each patient.  For many, aquatic therapy could be a valuable tool in assisting in the transition back to an active lifestyle. 


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