Aquatic Therapy is a therapeutic approach that combines exercise with the physical properties of water to provide a rehabilitative environment for a quicker return to functional activities.
Aquatic therapy increases mobility, muscle strength, body awareness, relaxation and cardiovascular endurance. It improves coordination, balance and respiration while, at the same time, decreases the frequency of muscle pain and spasms.
The simple properties of the water are what make this type of therapy so effective. The buoyancy provided by the water makes the exercise mostly non-weight bearing, reducing joint stress and increasing mobility. A person in water up to their waist weighs 50 percent of their actual weight, and at neck deep, it's only 1/10th of their body weight. People who cannot tolerate weight-bearing activities or the excess pressure on their ankles, knees, hips and back following surgery or an injury will find it especially beneficial. Water's hydrostatic pressure reduces joint and tissue swelling, promotes deep breathing and improves circulation, and the resistance increases muscle strength.