The Benefits of Aquatherapy

There is no place on earth like being in the water, and luckily for us here in Muskoka, water is all around us. At ProActive we harness the healing power of water to help our clients on their recovery journeys through our Aquatherapy program.

Aquatherapy is effective for treating many conditions including arthritis, fibromyalgia, joint replacement recovery, MS and secondary effects of cancer. The water is a soothing and supportive environment to help the body heal, gain strength and manage pain. Our Aquatherapy instructors at ProActive can help increase your cardiovascular endurance, strength and range of motion while reducing the stresses on your joints.

With most surgeries, the sooner you start moving, the better. Joint replacements can be challenging and introducing water can allow you to start exercising sooner and with much less pain and difficulty. Due to the buoyancy of the water, less weight is borne by your joints, allowing you to walk and exercise more easily and earlier than you would on land. Additionally, water reduces swelling and muscle spasms and helps you regain your strength and range of motion, allowing you to resume your usual activities sooner.

             Benefits of Aquatherapy:

  • Immersion reduces gravitational forces acting on the body, reducing stress on load-bearing joints and tissues.
  • Depth of immersion can be altered to increase or decrease gravitational loading as desired.
  • Buoyancy can be harnessed to achieve goals. By having participants anchor, unweight or suspend exercises they will decrease impact, increase core activation, train balance and further reduce the influence of gravity.
  • Turbulence and buoyancy constantly challenge balance and core stability. Therefore, the pool is an excellent place to train balance and strengthen core muscles.
  • Aquatic exercise offers infinitely adaptable resistance: from zero load to maximal loading, depending on how movement is done. When movement stops, load instantly disappears, reducing the possibility of aggravation and/or the possibility of (re) injury when tissues are healing.
  • Aquatic resistance is felt in the direction of the movement. Therefore, all ranges and planes of movement can be challenged and trained as desired. Arcing, curved and multi-planar movements done in daily living (and sports) are easily imitated and strengthened in the water.
  • Movement is slower in the water, giving the brain more time to process required actions. This is excellent for neurological retraining.
  • Muscle activation is mostly concentric in the water rather than the familiar blend of concentric (shortening) and eccentric (lengthening) loading experienced with gravitational, land-based training.
  • Concentric muscle action tends to create less post-exercise soreness than eccentric loading. This is an important factor for people in pain! When you have less soreness, you enjoy movement more.
  • Water is soothing, providing calming sensory input, assisting people to relax. Muscle guarding, stiffness and tremor are usually decreased, permitting people to move better and more comfortably.

Whether you have an injury you are trying to overcome or you simply want to gain strength, aquatherapy could be a great place to start!

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