The Sometimes Overlooked Benefits of Aquatic Training for Physical Therapy

Cross Country Allied
April 18, 2017 11:06 AM (GMT-04:00)
Traveler Tips
Aquatic training for physical therapy isn’t new. It’s been used for thousands of years. In Ancient Greece and Rome, people went to hot springs to relax and improve circulation. Japanese scientists have documented the health benefits of hot springs for improving rheumatism, hypertension, neuralgia and other medical conditions. In the United States, The Journal of Aquatic Physical Therapy advocates the use of aquatic physical therapy and publishes research on the subject. How can your patients benefit from aquatic training? Consider several ways.

Benefits of Aquatic Therapy

Aquatic training for physical therapy can improve a variety of conditions, including those listed below:
  • Arthritis
  • Autism
  • Back pain
  • Balance disorders
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Joint pain
  • Orthopedic injury
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Recovery from joint or muscle surgery
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Sprains and strains
  • Stroke
  • Tendonitis
  • Traumatic brain injury

Six Ways You and Your Patients can Benefit from Aquatic Therapy

Warm Water hasPsychological Benefits

It helps reduce the stress associated with a patient’s physical condition, as well as the anxiety some patients experience during care. It’s easier to educate and treat a relaxed patient. Patients’ confidence and morale increase when they are able to perform in a relaxing environment.

Aquatic Therapy Helps Relax and Sooth Aching Muscles and Joints

It increases circulation, flexibility and range of motion. This helps you gently move and manipulate patients during exercise.

Water Provides Buoyancy

Up to 90 percent of a patient’s body weight can be supported by water. The support water provides helps patients be aware of their body position, and it promotes balance and stability. Buoyancy can reduce fear of falling on a hard surface and being injured again.

Gravitational Force is Reduced with Aquatic Therapy

The result is decreased pain and sensitivity during exercise. The reduced pressure on joints and muscles allows your patients to do strength training without further damaging the affected area. Lower gravitational force makes it easier for patients to stand and begin gait training.

Most Pools have Adjustable Resistance

This helps you gradually train a patient’s muscles to work harder without straining or re-injuring them. The ability to adjust resistance helps strengthen patients for traditional physical therapy.

The Client Compliance Rate is Better

In an environment that is more relaxed and often less painful than traditional therapy, patients often report a better experience with aquatic therapy. They look forward to their therapy appointments, and they keep them.

Provide Aquatic Therapy as a Travel Physical Therapist

Are you interested in travel physical therapy assignments and the opportunity to use your training in aquatic therapy?
Cross Country Allied will provide you with opportunities that will expand your experience and patient base, and add variety to your career. Look for travel opportunities on our website or contact us today.

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"Absolutely amazing to work with! Ashley Steen and Amanda Valenziano are perfection. I couldn't be happier to be working with cross country. Despite multiple recruiters calling daily it isn't always about the money but the way you are treated. Thank you for the opportunity." - Amy D RN RRT-NPS