Aquatic therapy refers to treatments and exercises performed in water for relaxation, fitness, physical rehabilitation,and other therapeutic benefit. Applications of aquatic therapy benefits neurological disorders, spine pain, musculoskeletal pain, post operative orthopedic rehabilitation, pediatric disabilities but is not limited only to these conditions.
Aquatic Physical Therapy is the evidence-based and skilled practice of physical therapy in an aquatic environment by a physical therapist or under the supervision of a physical therapist. Aquatic Physical Therapy includes but is not limited to treatment, rehabilitation, prevention, health, wellness and fitness of patient/client populations in an aquatic environment with or without the use of assistive, adaptive, orthotic, protective, or supportive devices and equipment.
The unique properties of the aquatic environment enhance interventions for patients/clients across the age span with musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular/pulmonary, and integumentary diseases, disorders, or conditions.
Effects of Aquatic Therapy Interventions::
Know, how does aquatic therapy work? And what are the benefits of exercising in water/ Aquatic therapy?
Patients with brain injury, spinal disorder or Joint disorder or any other special populations who are unable to exercise on land or who face difficulty in exercises on land can often do comfortably in water. The buoyancy of water causes the individual to feel an upward thrust when submerged. This force acts in the opposite direction of gravity, Buoyancy allows for a variety of exercises to be performed in the pool with minimal equipment. In addition, people with balance deficits may experience less fear of falling while walking and exercising in the pool.
Exercises performed in water can be adapted to resist the upward thrust of buoyancy, support the upward thrust of buoyancy, or to assist this upward thrust. Submersion decreases weight bearing by up to 90% when submerged in neck deep water, so an individual who is unable to support their body weight on land is often able to walk with minimal support in the pool.
Other benefits of buoyancy are that the water supports weak muscles, enhance flexibility and range of motion, and increase the ease of handling for the therapist.
Hydrostatic pressure is a wonderful benefit of aquatic therapy. Hydrostatic pressure is the force exerted on the immersed body by fluid molecules. No movement is necessary by the individual in order to reap the many benefits of hydrostatic pressure. This is the benefit used as the motivational tool for the patients as the patients can just get into the water for any recreational activity and the hydrostatic pressure of the water does its work of the treatment all by itself while the patient is busy enjoying the activity.
Hydrostatic pressure decreases pain and edema, which in turn increases range of motion. It also increases venous return and circulation by assisting the heart and decreasing blood pooling in extremities. Hydrostatic pressure turns down the body’s reticular (activating) system (the brain’s system of arousal), dampening tactile sensory input to the brain. This is why the water has a calming environment for the patient. Individuals who are tactilely defensive ( having a negative response to touch) are often able to tune out their surrounding and focus on and enjoy being in the pool.
Water also provided excellent resistance for toning exercises. The higher viscosity of water makes muscles work harder than when compared to the same exercise on land. Viscosity can be described as the way the water molecules stick together when one tries to move through them. It is harder to move through the water than it is to move on land because the water molecules are sticking to each other and to the patient in the water pool.
Viscosity means that more muscle fibers are recruited for each movement through the water. The heart must also work harder providing blood to the muscles, which result in cardiovascular fitness, as well as overall toning.
Aqua Physiotherapy at Dr. Ketan Bhatika’s SPARC
Dr. Ketan Bhatikar presented himself on Functional changes through Therapeutic Aquatics workshop as a resource person on 20th August 2017 at Kolkata.
Dr. Ketan Bhatikar presented himself on Aquatic therapy workshop organised at Kle College of physiotherapy on 11th August 2017
Sports and Fitness Training Federation of India and Dr. Ketan Bhatikar’s SPARC organised International Physiotherapy Conference ‘AQUACON 2017’ on 27th and 28th May 2017 at Hotel Neelam’s the Grand, Calangute, Goa.
Dr. Ketan Bhatikar presented himself on 1st International AQUA workshop on 24th April 2017 at Government of People’s republic Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Dr. Ketan Bhatikar presented himself on Aquatic Therapy workshop at Indore on 18th Feb 2017.
Dr. Ketan Bhatikar presented himself on Aquatic Therapy workshop at Udaipur on 19th March 2016
Dr. Ketan Bhatikar presented himself on Pre Conference Workshop on Aquatic therapy in 54th Annual IAP Conference on 18 Feb 2016 at Shirdi, Maharashtra.