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Aquatic Therapy

man doing aquatic therapy

Our Aquatics Program

Water-based therapy offers a range of benefits for improving your strength and range of motion. Aquatic therapy is available at our Worcester Fitness location in the pool at the Worcester Fitness Center. The pool is kept at a temperature of 83-88 degrees and has a depth of 4-5 feet. Deep water therapy is offered using assistive flotation devices. Patients can safely enter and exit the pool using stairs or a chair lift.

Prior to beginning aquatic therapy, patients will have a formal “land” physical therapy evaluation and pool orientation at our Worcester Fitness location. We work with you to evaluate your function on land and develop a plan of care based on your goals. In most cases, this plan includes both aquatic and land-based therapy.

Benefits of Aquatic Therapy

Aquatic therapy is incredibly effective for a number of reasons. These include:

  • Buoyancy. The water promotes muscle relaxation and flexibility and allows you to exercise weak muscles.
  • Traction. When submerged in water, there is a natural traction on the body that helps reduce your pain and increase flexibility.
  • Three-dimensional resistance. Water provides resistance in all directions, training your body in a different manner than land therapy.
  • Viscosity. Water is 10 to 15 times more resistant than air, encouraging muscle strengthening.
  • Hydrostatic pressure. The pressure of the water helps reduce lower-limb swelling and assists with core stabilization by providing compression on the body and support to joints and soft tissue.

Aquatic therapy is helpful if you have weight-bearing restrictions, balance and gait deficits, fibromyalgia or arthritic conditions. It’s also helpful for orthopedic conditions, including joint replacement, postural deviations or joint or muscle pain. Through aquatic therapy, we work to get you to a more functional, land-based program.

BENEFITS of this therapy include:

  • Decreased stress on joints
  • Early weight bearing
  • Normalizing gait
  • Reduced lower extremity swelling
  • Increased flexibility/relaxation of muscle tightness
  • Ability for increased resistance/strengthening

Aquatic therapy is not for everyone.

Here are a few major CONTRAINDICATIONS to participation in aquatic therapy:

  • Open wounds or skin infections or air-borne infection / disease
  • Seizures
  • Unpredictable bladder and/or bowel incontinence
  • Oxygen dependent
  • Cardiac failure or severely compromised cardiovascular system

Aquatic therapy services must be prescribed by your doctor.

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