After a physical injury or the diagnosis of a chronic disease that causes muscular degeneration, you may wonder how you can handle the demands of physical therapy. While physical therapy is necessary in order to heal or maintain flexibility and strength, it can be challenging — not to mention mentally daunting — to accomplish all of the work you need to in order to live comfortably.
With many different exercises, depths, and intensities, aquatic therapy might just be the answer for you if you don’t think you can handle hard work of regular physical therapy. If you are looking for a few specifics on why you should consider aquatic therapy, then here is what you need to know.
1. It Is Built for You
Really effective physical therapy molds to your abilities and needs rather than molding you to an arbitrary standard. This is one of the greatest benefits of aquatic therapy. Water is hundreds of times more resistant than air, meaning that you are getting stronger just by moving in it, and aquatic therapy can take place in deep water, shallow water, the wall of the pool, or right in the middle, depending on your needs and abilities.
The exercises in your aquatic can be customized even further, focusing on the specific parts of your body, such as your arms, legs, or shoulders, and using pool weights accordingly, or designing specific aerobic routines to perform in the water, helping to improve flexibility, balance, and overall confidence and strength in your movements.
2. It Heals By Itself
The exercises that come with aquatic physical therapy are incredibly important and go a long way towards helping you to heal whatever injury or disease you are facing. But while the therapy part of aquatic therapy is definitely important, it is the aquatic that can really make a difference in another portion of physical therapy: the healing.
The water in aquatic therapy normally hovers around 92-94 degrees Fahrenheit, which is great for the muscles in your body, helping them to relax in a way that they can't do on land. The warm water also improves your circulation, which lowers stress on your heart and can even improve your skin among other benefits. The water used for aquatic therapy not only gives you a medium in which to heal but also helps heal you as well.
3. It's Not Just For Injuries
Broken bones get a lot of attention in the physical therapy news, but a broken or shattered bone are not the only things that can benefit from a little bit of physical therapy. Degenerative diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), which are often incurable, can cause muscle degeneration, joint pain, and overall loss of mobility among other symptoms — all of which can benefit from physical therapy.
When your joints are in pain and muscles are withering away, however, it can be hard to do physical therapy on land — which is where aquatic therapy comes in. The water supports your weight, making it possible for you to do certain exercises that you might not be able to do on land while improving your balance at the same time.
Because it is an infinitely customizable, low-impact, and all-around healing treatment, aquatic therapy might just be the perfect choice for your upcoming physical therapy, no matter your level of swimming proficiency. If you are wondering whether or not aquatic therapy is right for you, talk to your doctor about the specifics of the treatment.
For information on aquatic therapy, other forms of physical therapy, other programs, and to request an appointment at the Levi Hospital, visit our website today.