Who can benefit from aquatic therapy?
Aquatic therapy in a warm pool may benefit people with:
- Abnormal tone
- Impaired head and trunk control
- Decreased strength
- Postural strain
- Sensory impairments
- Arousal problems
- Motor planning
- Decreased tolerance to weight bearing
- Post surgical deconditioning
- Respiratory problems
Why the water?
- Other than water being comforting and fun, it also facilitates mobility, decreases pain, improves flexibility, increases strength, controls weight bearing, improves cardiovascular endurance, promotes relaxation, provides calming pressure/input, and promotes activation of core muscles.
- The unique effects of water can be used as a therapeutic tool for children:
- The warmth of water promotes muscle relaxation, assists with decreasing muscle spasticity, and helps enhance muscle stretching and joint movement.
- The pressure exerted by the water molecules on the immersed body stimulates movement, improves circulation, and helps reduce tactile defensiveness because of the generalized constant calming sensory input.
- The thickness of water prevents the children from using momentum and speed for movement and promotes more slow, smooth, and controlled movements which require more muscle strength and control.
- Water reduces the effects of gravity, which decreases weight bearing and its impact on the joints and spine, allowing for greater mobility. Children who use wheelchairs or other assistive devices to walk on land can often swim or walk in the water with little assistance.
About the Madonna Aquatic Therapy Program:
- The aquatic therapist works with the interdisciplinary team at our facility to help patients reach their therapeutic goals, using buoyancy and the resistiveness of the water throughout treatment.
- Depending on the diagnosis, and precautions, treatment sessions can last 30-, 45-, or 60- minutes.
- In addition the using water as a therapeutic tool, our therapist uses toys, balls, floating devices, noodles, and steps for treatment.
- Goals are geared toward function to enhance activities of daily living.