Benefits of Aquatic Therapy

Aquatic therapy is performing movement or activities within a water environment by using the physical properties of water to assist with physical performance. At CRIT, we use this activity as a tool in conjunction with our land-based therapy to help facilitate progress towards rehabilitation goals for patients, when appropriate.

One key factor for greater therapy success is maintaining the pool temperature at 93 degrees Fahrenheit. The warmer temperature assists in the management of tone, muscle relaxation, and improved blood flow. Additionally, the aquatic environment allows for buoyancy, thus making the weight of the patient lighter, allowing the patient to improve standing and walking in a minimal gravitational environment. This activity then gives the patient the ability to perform land-based activities more productively. Water resistance serves as a weight, which allows for strengthening without straining joints. At CRIT, we also use hydrostatic pressure, or the forces perpendicular to the body, to decrease swelling and enhance proprioceptive or positional awareness.

Using the different properties of water can assist in many aspects of therapeutic progress, including increased strength, improved awareness, improved mobility, decreased tone, increased balance, ability to stand, walk, and more. Working in a fun and different environment can encourage more participation and improved outcomes!