Aquatic therapy is one of the best forms of activity for both children and adults. The water-based exercises are effective and they can be used to treat different physical injuries. Children with neurological and musculoskeletal conditions can also benefit from aquatic therapy. The therapy is also helpful for those recovering from traumatic injuries or major surgery. Research has shown that aquatic therapy can help children to reach their full potential by building their skills and confidence.
Improving range of motion
An injury like an ankle sprain or a broken leg can mean that joint movement is limited. The swelling causes decreased muscle strength and this can affect the treatment process. Aquatic therapy is carried out in special pools that are set to a comfortable temperature of between 80 and 90 degrees. The water is usually warmer than the water in a traditional pool and this warm temperature helps to make the joints more flexible. The water also helps to stretch the joints to new limits enhancing flexibility.
Increased muscle strength
Aquatic therapy helps to strengthen muscles after the ideal range of motion has been achieved. Proper strengthening of the joint is necessary to allow the muscles to perform effectively at the new length. By using resistance principles, performing some simple actions help the muscles to gain strength. Some of the actions include lifting the injured limb and moving it up and down. The strength exercises are much safer and more effective when performed in the water than when done on hard ground.
Gross motor milestones
The therapy helps patients to achieve gross motor milestones. Some of these milestones include rolling, jumping and walking in the water using buoyancy principles. A child suffering from cerebral palsy can learn how to roll or turn in the water with the assistance of the water buoyancy and with assistance from the therapist. After the child’s nervous and musculoskeletal system has learnt how to roll in the water, it becomes much easier to learn on a mat and eventually in bed.
Increased pressure input
Children who have sensory processing disorders can benefit greatly from aquatic therapy. The water helps to provide the deep pressure that the children crave and it can make the child calmer. The increased tactile and deep pressure input is very helpful for children who have difficulty processing sensory inputs. This treatment helps the child to become calm and organized and children with behavioral problems can benefit greatly.
Enhancing breathing techniques
Aquatic therapy helps to enhance breath support, which is very helpful for children who have speech problems. Simple techniques like deep breathing, holding the breath under water, and lifting the arms up and down against the water resistance can help with proper breathing. This is necessary for effective speaking and the fact that it is fun can make it the best part of speech therapy for kids.
The therapy helps to enhance social interaction allowing the child to live a more normal life. Your child can reach his or her full potential through improved gross motor skills, speech and social interaction.