Aquatic therapy, otherwise known as water therapy or aquatic rehabilitation, focuses on providing physical treatment for those of all ages and fitness levels. It looks at helping individuals who need to improve their coordination or balance, build up their muscles and endurance, enhance aerobic capacity, improve flexibility and reduce stress. It is a physical medicine that works well with athletes as it can be tailored to each individual based on previous injuries or specific requirements. One would obtain aquatic therapy from a trained professional. You can find a trained professional at either a hospital, a clinic like the sports medicine clinic in Toronto, or from a rehabilitation centre.
The Benefits of Water Therapy
The largest benefit that water therapy provides individuals such as athletes is that those who are recovering from injury, who cannot practice rehabilitation on physical land, can do so in the water. The reason for this is because water provides compression to injured muscles and reduces gravity’s pull on the body due to the principal of buoyancy. Water also exactly matches the resistance an injured muscle can generate ensuring that an injured muscle is never overused yet providing maximal exercise potential for healing. Other advantages that athletes would specifically benefit from include:
- Respiratory muscles must work harder in water which naturally strengthens them throughout the therapy session and afterwards.
- The resistance of the water can be used to strengthen muscles and increase the progression of rehabilitation.
- Pain will be reduced as the individual will always be supported in the water. This in turn also reduces any fear that the individual may have after a serious injury.
Other benefits that would help all fitness levels and athletes of all kinds:
- Increased joint flexibility as the reduction in gravity allows for a higher range of motion.
- Increased blood supply to all areas including muscles, which reduces pain and speeds up the healing process.
- Balance and muscle strength will be improved due to the water’s natural resistance.
Finally, there are many benefits that come from the hydrostatic pressure of water. Not only do the heart and lungs work harder but the pressure of the water will act has a compression tool, relieving chronic aches and pains that one might have. Plus, due to the pressure your circulation will improve which can benefit the entire body as oxygen rich blood will be able to reach all areas. If you are an athlete or an individual who has been injured in the past and is having a difficult time with recovery, definitely get in touch with a clinic like our sports medicine clinic in Toronto and see if aquatic therapy would work for you.