Aquatic therapy is becoming an increasingly popular choice both for those recovering from surgery or those with disabilities that restrict their mobility. This type of therapy has gained popularity because it allows the individual to strengthen and stretch the muscles without putting strain on the body. Aquatic therapy is also gentler on joints as well making it the perfect form of exercise for those who are still healing or who are weaker than average. There are lots of different approaches to aquatic therapy, but some of the most common aspects are outlined below.
Necessary Equipment For Aquatic Therapy
Aquatic therapy requires a range of equipment depending on the goals set for the patient and their personal level of ability and fitness. One of the key pieces of equipment are pool lifts to help those with limited movement in and out of the pool. Others include things like water weights, pool noodles and buoyancy aids. However, these additional accessories are not always necessary and some therapists prefer to work only with the water and the edge of the pool.
Working The Arms And Legs
Aquatic therapy is really great for leg exercises as there is less gravity pulling on the legs. It is a great way to strengthen leg muscles and loosen joints without any additional strain on the body. Some common leg exercise include leg circles, side leg lifts ad toe raises. Similarly, arm exercises can be used to work the biceps and triceps. This is commonly achieved by having the patient sit in the water with the upper body submerged. Water weights can be used to strengthen the muscles while doing arm circles, shoulder shrugs and arm extensions.
Water based aerobics offers a low impact form of exercise which is perfect for older people and those with disabilities. Even something as simple as walking round the pool is great exercise as the waster offers enough resistance to present a challenge without risking injury. This is usually combined with the arm and leg exercises above to give a well rounded workout which raises the heart rate without putting strain on the body.
The water is also a great place to work on improving balance as it acts like a stabilizer. These types of exercise challenge the body safely and so it is a great option for those with spine alignment issues or poor posture. One style of balance work which is gaining popularity in aquatic therapy community is Tai Chi. When this is performed in water it is ideal for improving balance.
Aquatic therapy is certainly a very beneficial choice for those recovering from surgery or injury. It is also useful for people with a limited range of movement either due to old age or because f a disability. This is a type of exercise which anyone can enjoy regardless of fitness level. There are classes springing up at public leisure facilities everywhere, or your physical therapist may offer private sessions to work on a particular area of your body that needs strengthening.