Aqua Therapy


Aqua therapy, also known as Hydrotherapy, has been used for hundreds of years. Aqua therapy can be performed in different areas like; bathtubs, whirlpools, water spas or swimming pool. Water is an excellent base for exercise and provides an anti-stress environment for movement. This is ideal for patients who struggle with land-based exercises due to the strain they place on joints.

Different water temperatures, agitation and vibration all help in different ways to soothe and relax muscles affected by pain. Warm water causes vasodilation that draws blood into the target tissues; this causes removal of waste from the cell, resulting in pain relief. On the other hand, cold water causes vasoconstriction. This process slows down the circulation and reduces pain, spasm or inflammation.

Simple water exercises use the resistance of the water to build muscle strength and flexibility. This therapy is considered beneficial for individuals who face difficulty in performing weight bearing exercises on land, such as patients with arthritis, osteoporosis, back pain, muscle spasms and fibromyalgia. Patients with diabetes or high blood pressure may also find Aqua therapy beneficial. For some patients, aqua therapy can be used as a short-term option before they are able to transition to land-based exercises which will allow for better muscle and bone strengthening.

As with any other type of exercise, patients should always check with their health care practitioner before beginning aqua therapy to ensure that it will be beneficial based on their health concerns; patients with cardiac disease should not take part in aqua therapy.

aquatherapy

sources: http://physicaltherapy.about.com/od/strengtheningexercises/a/aquatictherapy.htm

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/aqua-therapy-topic-overview

http://my.clevelandclinic.org/rehabilitation-sports-therapy/specialty-therapy-services/aquatic-rehabilitation.aspx

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