Northern Arizona Rehabilitation and Fitness: Aquatic Therapy

Benefits of Aquatic Therapy:


Why Aquatic Therapy?

Numerous benefits to the body foster self-healing as the warm water decreases pain, muscle guarding, tension and anxiety. The special properties of water include buoyancy, support and accommodating resistance. This enhances exercise and creates a safe environment for progressive rehabilitation. The use of water is specifically designed for restoration, maintenance and increasing function for patients with acute, transient (sports injuries) or chronic disabilities, syndromes or diseases. Specialized aquatic therapy equipment is utilized at Northern Arizona Rehabilitation & Fitness. Our aquatic therapists instruct patients on strengthening/stretching exercises which are individualized for their specific conditions. The physical therapist develops treatment programs for each patient.

Aquatic Therapy is Beneficial for Patients Recovering from:

  • Sports and work related injuries requiring rapid rehabilitation
  • Lower extremity fractures with internal fixation allowing for early range of motion, with minimal weight bearing.
  • Rheumatic disorders including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia.
  • Lumbar strain, sciatic and degenerative disc disease
  • Post-operative lumbar laminectomy patients.
  • Podiatric disorders and osteotomy surgery
  • Shoulder, knee, and ankle reconstructive surgery.
  • Fear of falling/Balance issues
  • Deconditioning or lost range of motion
  • Peripheral Neuropathy

Reason to use Aquatic therapy

  • Buoyancy (up to 90% of our body weight is removed)
  • Reduced pain & muscle spasm
  • Increased range of motion
  • Increased relaxation
  • Increased circulation
  • Decreased swelling
  • Decreased rehabilitation time (because movement can be initiated easier) Cardiovascular conditioning
  • Accelerates healing process
  • Allows patients mobility and freedom

More about Aquatic Therapy

Aquatic therapy is the best prescription for certain types of rehabilitation patients. For patients who cannot tolerate other types of physical therapy, aquatic therapy can provide important advantages. Working in the water helps to improve balance and core stability. It can prevent deconditioning, greatly decrease rehabilitation time, and decrease treatment costs. Additionally, Aquatic therapy encourages individuals to choose swimming or water exercise as a lifetime sport for maintaining general health and fitness. One of the main goals of aquatic therapy is to accelerate the patient's healing. Often traditional physical therapy is delayed because patients cannot tolerate weight-bearing activity. The utilization of aquatic therapy enables the therapist to initiate rehab and at an earlier stage; therefore returning the patient to his activities of daily living in the shortest time period possible. Aquatic therapy is recommended for patients needing weight bearing precautions as well as patients needing high velocity exercise who may be recovering from back surgery, suffer from arthritis, respiratory problems, and chronic pain. Using aquatic therapy as a high velocity exercise can help build muscle endurance and strength, cardiovascular health, coordination and endurance, without the risk of joint trauma. Aquatic therapy is an attractive option for disabled persons because water offers them so much mobility and freedom.