Aquatic therapy, is one of the oldest and most effective treatment options for people with not only with physical disabilities, but it is also being recognized and getting more acceptance in the healing of orthopedic injuries, sports-related injuries, and even post-surgery recovery because of its unique properties.
What Is Aquatic Therapy?
Structured aquatic exercises combines the physical properties of water and exercise. The buoyancy of the water reduces the effects of body weight and weight-bearing forces so you may perform movements in the water with greater ease, and more importantly, less discomfort.
Benefits of Aquatic Therapy
Exercise in water can also have many positive physiological effects on the body, including:
- Increased circulation
- Increased respiratory rate
- Decreased blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Increased metabolic rate
Together, these translate into many improved outcomes for you, including:
- Reduction of pain and muscle spasms
- Increased range of motion
- Increased strength, power and endurance
- Cardiovascular conditioning
- Comprehensive challenge to coordination, balance and kinesthetic mechanics
What Conditions Does Aquatic Therapy Treat?
Aquatic therapy is often used to treat the following conditions:
- Low back dysfunction
- Total joint replacements
- Chronic pain
and breast cancer.
What Can Be Included In A Breast Cancer Aquatic Program?
A breast cancer water/aquatic therapy program can structured like many aquatic fitness programs, but there is a significant focus on strengthening the chest, shoulder and back muscles.
An individualized program for a breast cancer client may include a brief 5 to 10 minute t warm-up that involves walking in waist- to chest-deep water and utilizing a variety of progressive hand/arm movements.
Attention to basic breathing throughout the program is important. The program can then have some of stretches, some cardiovascular type of activity like jogging and/or walking within the pool, with a dedicated focus on the specific muscles involved, while taking into account any compensation movement patterns and muscle use that may have also occurred.
An individualized aquatic therapy program can start as soon as the drains are out and the wound is healed over. A key aspect of doing an individualized aquatic theapy program is also the communication with the current health care team and even family doctor. Because a cancer patient may be have lower energy after surgery, it is always best to start slow into the program and have progressive goals to work towards.
For more information about aquatic therapy programs, contact me.