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Aquatic Therapy for Athletes

How Aquatic Therapy Helps with Injury Rehabilitation | How It Can Help Boost Performance

As an athlete, whether you’re a professional or a weekend warrior, you know that injuries are part of the bargain. When you play hard, pushing your body to the limit, you’ll occasionally pull, sprain or tear something. When that happens, you want to find a way to quickly and safely heal, so that you can get back in the game. One of the best ways to recover and rehabilitate any type of sports-related injury is through water-based, or aquatic therapy.

What Is Aquatic Physical Therapy?

Aquatic physical therapy is a form of injury treatment that takes place entirely in water, typically in a therapy pool, under the care and supervision of a trained physical therapist.

Why Would You Opt for Aquatic Therapy after a Sports Injury?

Aquatic therapy may be a preferred mode of treatment for a number of reasons:

  • The natural buoyancy of water allows a patient to exercise without putting weight on the ground, which can be particularly important when there are injuries to your lower extremities. Depending on the depth of the water, water can effectively reduce your body weight by about 70-90%, so that you put less stress on your joints, bones, and connective tissue.so that you put less stress in joints, bones and connective tissue. Because you won’t feel the effects of gravity, you’ll typically enjoy a greater flexibility and range of motion while in the water. Because the buoyancy and pressure are uniform throughout the water, you can exercise with less fear of falling or hurting yourself.
  • Because water has about 700 times the resistance of air, you may be able to get more physical benefit from certain exercises, though the benefits will vary based on the type of exercise, how it is performed, and your unique fitness and abilities.
  • The warm water in the therapy pool will increase blood supply to your muscles and can alleviate tension or tightness.

How Aquatic Therapy Can Help Boost Your Performance

Though aquatic therapy is more commonly used as a part of rehabilitation and recovery, it can also be a proactive tool to enhance fitness and athletic performance:

  • Aquatic training has been shown to reduce the likelihood of muscle spasms in competition.
  • Water-based training allows you to progressively increase your effort, with less risk of injury.
  • Aquatic training allows you to engage in a wide range of exercises with less pain.
  • Aquatic training can improve circulation during workouts.
  • Aquatic exercise is an excellent form of cross training for varied, complete fitness routine and for injury rehabilitation.