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Raneika Bean, MPT
How Can Aquatic Therapy Benefit You?
Sports Pro Physical Therapy, LLC

How Can Aquatic Therapy Benefit You?

Aquatic therapy or pool therapy is an excellent therapeutic low impact activity, which is a beneficial form of physical therapy for a variety of medical conditions. Aquatic therapy uses the physical properties of water to assist in patient healing and exercise performance. Aquatic therapy uses walking, jogging, jumping, swimming, kicking, and other continuous rhythmic activities to improve strength, range of motion and cardiovascular function.
One benefit of aquatic therapy is the buoyancy provided by the water. While submerged in water, buoyancy assists in supporting the weight of the patient. When you are neck-deep in water, you only have to support 10% of your body weight. This decreases the amount of weight bearing which reduces the force of stress placed on the joints. This aspect of aquatic therapy is especially useful for patients with arthritis, healing fractured bones, or who are overweight. By decreasing the amount of joint stress it is easier and less painful to perform exercises.
Benefits of Aquatic Therapy
Improves muscle tone and strength
Improves endurance
Increases cardiovascular function
Improves self esteem
Reduction in gravitational force provides therapeutic benefits
Provides psychological benefits
Overall improvement in quality of life
Increased circulation, endurance, flexibility, range of motion, balance, and coordination
In the pool, people with injuries can exercise with a greater range of motion (ROM) without hurting joints or re-injuring themselves. The workout gets blood moving faster through the injured area, so it heals faster. Water pressure helps keep down the swelling that often accompanies injury. Water temperature of the pool is maintained around 92F which assists in warming body parts, relaxing muscles and increasing blood flow to injured areas. Patients with muscle spasms, back pain, and fibromyalgia find this aspect of aquatic therapy especially therapeutic.
Aquatic Therapy can help
Back and neck pain
Chronic pain
Post-surgical recovery
Chronic strain injuries
Pregnancy related back pain
It is important to know however, that aquatic therapy is not for everyone. People with open wounds, fevers, infections, or bowel/bladder incontinence are not candidates for aquatic therapy. Anyone with cardiac disease should consult their primary care physician or cardiologist prior to beginning an aquatic therapy program.
How can I get started?
The State of Maryland is a “direct access” state, which means that patients are able to refer themselves to a physical therapist without a referral from a physician. However, your insurance company may or may not require you to have a referral depending on the type of plan that you have. Aquatic therapy is covered by most insurance companies.

MD (301) 805-6805 | VA (703) 288-3130