The pool is a fantastic place to do your routine workouts or physical therapy exercises, especially if you enjoy outdoor living. But for people with chronic pain, like severe back pain, aquatic therapy may be your only source of relief since you can’t tolerate any kind of exercises on land.
How Aquatic Therapy Works
Aquatic therapy involves various exercises performed in a heated swimming pool to help people with a wide range of ailments from chronic pain to depression. The temperature of the pool water doesn’t necessarily need to be hot, but it is warmer than your average swimming pool by about 10-degrees, which makes it safe and calming to the body.
The water buoyancy helps to reduce pain by relieving some of the weight from aching joints. This helps your body to relax and heal pinched nerves, muscle tightness, sciatica, and other types of pain disorders without any of the harsh impacts associated with exercises on land.
Benefits Of Aquatic Therapy
Through simple exercises such as lap swimming, water walking or jogging, and water aerobics, as well as the warmth and water resistance, chronic pain patients often report reduced pain and any associated anxiety and depression, increased energy, and more relaxation.
Here are the common benefits of water-based therapy for chronic pain relief:
Decreased pain – patients suffering from chronic back pain often report that it’s easier to perform water-based exercises than normal land workout. This is because the warm water increases blood flow to sore muscle and joints, plus the buoyancy promotes comfort.
Reduced load bearing – the water buoyancy helps to reduce the stress placed on aching joints, muscles, and other parts of your body. For instance, if a back injury is making it painful to walk, or if you’re trying to re-strengthen your spine following surgery, aqua therapy can help to decrease stress so you can focus on your therapy exercises.
Greater mobility – the water buoyancy also makes it easier to perform turning and twisting exercises that increase your range-of-motion. These exercises can be very difficult or impossible on land.
Natural resistance – compared to air, water offers 600 times more resistance, so simple workouts become much more effective in water.
Improved stability – in the event that you experience a sudden and sharp pain in the middle of your workout session, the water can help you correct the imbalance and cushion you from a fall. The water also strengthens your feet and leg muscles for greater stability on land.
Despite the many benefits of aquatic therapy for pain-free outdoor living, you should keep in mind that it is not a cure. In most cases, it is used as part of a treatment plan that may also include medications and lifestyle changes, all of which can help you maintain a high quality of life. So if you’re suffering from chronic pain, speak with your doctor before starting your water-based therapy.