For some patients, conventional land-based physical therapy might prove to be too difficult due to excessive pain or an inability to properly perform the exercises prescribed in treatment. Fortunately for those who fall into this category, there is an alternative treatment approach that even has some added benefits: aquatic therapy.
Aquatic therapy, sometimes referred to as hydrotherapy, is administered by a physical therapist in a heated, shallow pool, where patients move freely in the water and utilize the resistance of the water instead of weights while performing exercises. The primary goal of aquatic therapy is to help patients regain normal movement patterns using the buoyant and resistant effects of water, and eventually transition to a land-based rehabilitation program after sufficient improvements are made.
Aquatic therapy is most ideal for patients experiencing chronic pain, but can be used to treat a wide range of injuries and illnesses, as well as improve performance. These include: arthritis/joint pain, stroke and other brain injuries, low back pain, fibromyalgia, athletic and cardiovascular training, balance disorders, and foot, knee and ankle pain.
Cleveland Physical Therapy Associates is proud to offer aquatic therapy for any patients that may benefit from this alternative approach. In addition to catering to those unable to perform land-based exercises, here are some additional benefits:
- Aquatic therapy can make exercise easier and less painful since the forces on weight-bearing joints are significantly reduced
- The warmth of the water helps reduce pain by relaxing tight muscles and increasing blood flow, which also decreases muscle spasms
- Water resistance and special jets help patients strengthen muscles and improve cardiovascular stamina and circulation
- Increases healing and strengthening of injured tissue, and flexibility
- Increases resistance for stretching and therapeutic exercises
- Also improves balance, gait, locomotion, aerobic capacity, power and endurance
If you struggle with traditional physical therapy or have any of the conditions mentioned here, aquatic therapy could be a successful alternative approach to therapy for you. For more information about aquatic therapy or to schedule an appointment with Cleveland Physical Therapy Associates at either of our two locations in Shelby or Kings Mountain, NC, call 704-471-0001. We look forward to hearing from you.