By Cindy Binkley, FLTN Columnist- A woman walks slowly, holding her back as she enters the pool. The look on her face and the way that she is clenching the rails shows that she is in extreme pain. As she lowers herself into the water, her face begins to relax, her arms are at her sides and she begins to smile. The warmth of the water and the encouragement of the therapist help to ease her pain and her frustration.
The use of aquatic therapy has great potential, from the treatment of acute injuries to maintenance programs, as we face an increase in chronic disease and health reform. Dating back to the earliest of times, water has been used to promote healing.
The physical properties of the waterare what make it so unique. Buoyancy is what decreases the impact of gravity on your joints making it less painful to move than on land. Hydrostatic pressure is the force that aids in decreasing edema in the lower legs. Resistance is what your body must create in order to increase the strength of your muscles. Water is more resistive than air, therefore making each movement in the pool more challenging.
Almost every condition can benefit from aquatic therapy, but is found to be most beneficial for arthritis, spine disorders, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, vascular and balance disorders.
Benefits of aquatic therapy are many, but the greatest are:
- Improved circulation, balance and coordination
- Promotes relaxation, sleep and well-being
- Increased flexibility, strength and endurance
- Allow early weight bearing after an injury or surgery
- Decreased muscle guarding, pain and stress
Aquatic therapy remains vastly underused despite recent increases in popularity. It is a great adjunct to traditional therapy and also provides individuals with additional ways to exercise to preserve their health and longevity. If you’ve hesitated to try aquatic therapy, maybe it’s time you take the plunge!
For more information, contact Cindy Binkley at 419-841-9622; visit Central Park West Rehabilitation Center at 3130 Central Park West Dr., Ste. A; email at email@example.com; or visit the website at http://www.cpwrehab.com/index.html.