Water heals: The benefits of aquatic therapy

With aquatic therapy, patients at Northern Arizona Healthcare’s EntireCare Rehab & Sports Medicine are finding pain relief and relaxation in a warm water therapeutic pool.

Aquatic therapy is an increasingly popular treatment modality for patients who cannot tolerate land-based exercise must use care with weight-bearing activity for any reason. It also helps with pre-operative conditioning before joint replacement surgery and pain during cancer treatment or recovery. It can relieve symptoms of fibromyalgia, chronic pain, cardiopulmonary issues; pregnancy discomfort and rheumatologic problems.

The force of gravity weakens in water, which means less compression on the spine and joints. The body’s buoyancy makes it easier to move, while the water’s resistance – much greater than air – helps build muscular strength. In addition, its 95-degree temperature helps circulation and lymphatic flow throughout the body.

The unique benefits of aquatic therapy also include:

  • Increased joint flexibility and mobility.
  • Improved balance. Uniform pressure from the water against the body allows increased time to react without fear of falling or getting hurt.
  • Safe environment for neurologic patients to explore movement with skilled guidance.
  • Better general functioning and quality of life.

A physical, occupational or massage therapist specially trained in aquatic techniques provides all therapies. Therapists offer hands-on treatments, including massage and stretching, in the pool. Depending on the patient’s individual needs, therapists may also use specialized equipment to add more buoyancy and resistance.

Patients can expect one-on-one individualized attention to maximize their potential in the water as well on land.

EntireCare offers aquatic therapy at their Flagstaff and Camp Verde locations. 

To make an appointment in Flagstaff, call 928-773-2125.

To make an appointment in Camp Verde, call 928-639-5562.