Therapeutic use of water is known to man for centuries. Be it immersion tubs of Switzerland, exotic baths or Rome or the hot mineral water springs of Kerala, our ancient medicinal wisdom has always tapped into the curative properties of water. Since the 20th century, water is increasingly used in its current form of aquatic therapy, for the rehabilitation of movement. Here’s exactly what you need to know about aqua therapy is, the benefits of it and who should opt for it.
What Is Aqua/Aquatic Therapy?
Aquatic therapy or aqua therapy is most simply described as physical rehabilitation/physical therapy in water. It includes water-based treatment interventions or exercises of therapeutic intent for rehabilitation, recovery, fitness and relaxation. Mechanical and thermal properties of water are used, in combination with effects of movement. It may be used for persons across all age groups and abilities.
Why Should One Opt For Aqua Therapy?
The effects of aquatic therapy are based on the physical properties of water. Water is a buoyant medium and counterbalances gravity. Resultantly body weight experienced is as less than 1/10th of original body weight. For example, someone weighing 60 kgs on land would experience only about 10 kgs of loading when immersed to about chest depth. This makes movement earlier. Water is viscous in nature, which means resistance offered by water during movement is greater than what is experienced on land. This offers a possibility of resistance training in an environment which produces low joint impact.
Benefits Of Aqua Therapy
Improved muscle strength, pain relief, improved circulation, decrease in abnormal muscle tone, stiffness and rigidity, improved range of motion and flexibility, movement skills training, improved stamina, relaxation, improved balance.
Who Would Benefit From Aquatic Therapy?
Aqua Therapy is beneficial for most orthopaedic and neurological conditions which will require physical rehabilitation. Additionally, it is also widely accepted and used as a preventive maintenance tool. It is useful in persons with conditions such as but not limited to: Chronic pain, including back pain and joint pain, arthritis, obesity, weak muscles, low endurance/stamina, pre-natal and post-natal phase, ligament injuries and sprains, sports injury, muscle spasm, stroke recovery, balance and coordination issues.
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