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The Benefits of Aquatic Therapy for Children with Special Needs

How Aquatic Therapy Can Help | What to Expect

Do you have a child with special physical needs? Are you looking for a safe way to help them be as physically fit as possible, something that will be both fun and beneficial for them? Consider aquatic therapy. It’s a gentle way to help increase strength and mobility, as well as endurance and coordination. Best of all, it takes place in a therapy pool. What kid doesn’t love being in the water?

What Are the Benefits of Aquatic Therapy?

The buoyancy of water naturally leads to decompression on all your joints, which is a huge benefit for both juveniles and adults with arthritis. The decompression offers significant benefit to the spine, legs, and lower body, often allowing children with lower torso disabilities to move and exercise with little or no pain. Your child will have less stress on joints, bones and connective tissue and will be able to exercise with less difficulty.

In addition, water has a slight pressure that mildly compresses the body, commonly used to treat connective tissue injury. The resistance the water offers can also help a child reap significant benefits without working harder or risking injury. A therapist can use a variety of techniques to help your child gently and progressively increase strength and endurance, including changing the speed of the exercise, making turbulence or, in some pools, working against a current.

Furthermore, simply being in the water puts a little pressure on the muscles your child uses to breathe. Without doing any other exercise at all, your child can develop stronger breathing muscles and improve the ability to breathe out of water.

What To Expect When You Take Your Child to Aquatic Therapy

As with any physical therapy patient, your child will undergo a thorough assessment at the first appointment. The examining therapist will evaluate your child’s needs and suitability for aquatic therapy and work with you to formulate a plan to focus on specific objectives.

When your child comes for aquatic therapy, there will be a licensed therapist in the pool with them at all times. In addition, a parent or guardian must be present. Your child will be outfitted with any necessary safety equipment and will be working directly with your child throughout the process. Most sessions last no more than a half an hour.