Benefits of Aquatic Therapy

Did you know that exercising in water can reduce pain with activity and allow more freedom of movement on land? If you feel you are limited by joint or muscle pain with normal activity and not sure what to do – consider aquatic physical therapy.

A 1225 gallon pool spa used for aquatic therapy at NovaCare Rehabilitation. The deepest section is about 5′ 3″ and temperature kept at 96 degrees.  Various floats and weights are available to supplement exercise and for comfort.

Aquatic therapy utilizes the buoyancy and warmth of the water to provide a safe and effective environment to maximize pain-free movement of the body. The aquatic environment has been shown in a study of those with chronic low back pain to be as effective with muscle activation and core stabilization in most cases. However, those performing aquatic activities reported less frequent pain during exercise and heart rate remained lower.*

After an initial evaluation, a physical therapist may determine that aquatic therapy is appropriate, but often will still incorporate a few home exercises or other activities on land to supplement aquatic benefits.

Several common conditions that benefit from aquatic therapy:
Osteoarthritis in knees, hips, low back, etc.
Rheumatoid arthritis
Post-operative rehabilitation of the low back or lower extremity, especially with weight-bearing restrictions and lumbar fusions of spine
Chronic pain problems

If you feel pain is your limiting factor to improving your health and mobility goals, consider giving aquatic physical therapy at try! Come see us at NovaCare Rehabilitation DuBois for more information. No referral needed for an evaluation.

Karen Judeich, DPT is a Treasure Lake resident. Karen earned her doctorate in physical therapy in 2009 from Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine and bachelor’s degree in biology in 2006 from Juniata College. She has been with NovaCare Rehabilitation as the center manager since 2013. She uses a movement system approach to diagnose musculoskeletal problems and prevent recurrence of symptoms. She believes in maintaining an open and friendly atmosphere in the center to make the journey to better health more fun and enjoyable.

*Psycharakis, S. et al., Muscle activity during aquatic and land exercises in people with and without low back pain. Physical Therapy. 2019;99:297-310.

NovaCare Rehabilitation – DuBois
P: 814-371-0171
470 Jeffers Street
DuBois, PA 15801

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