Overcoming Aquaphobia for Aquatic Physical Therapy

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Aquatic physical therapy is often more beneficial for a patient than land therapy, but fear may be a discouraging factor if you are afraid of the water. Knowing when water therapy is preferable for many conditions and how it is performed can help you overcome your anxiety.

Conditions Most Suited for Aquatic Therapy

Individuals who suffer from the debilitating effects of a stroke, the painful joints present with arthritis or fibromyalgia often greatly benefit from water therapy. Other people who benefit most from this type of therapy include those with developmental delays or ones who were inactive during a long-term illness or who have lived a mostly sedentary lifestyle. Patients with impaired balance, limited strength and endurance or people who have limited range of motion are also excellent candidates for aquatic therapy.

No Risk of Danger During Aquatic Therapy

It is important for you to know that aquatic therapy is perfectly safe. The physical therapist will be with you at all times and you will be able to touch the bottom of the pool during the entire session. The pool is kept at a warm temperature that most patients find quite relaxing.

Preparing for Your Aquatic Therapy

Prepare for your session in the pool by speaking honestly with your therapist, from a clinic like Advanced Physical Therapy, and informing him or her about your fear of the water. Remember, even people with no such fears are often reluctant to engage in physical therapy of any type. Fear of pain during therapy is also common for many patients who require rehabilitation. The physical therapists are skilled at helping you adjust to the water gradually and enabling you to cope with your fears.  

Quicker Rehabilitation is Possible with Aquatic Therapy

Individuals who don't have appropriate upper body strength will find they can lift objects with greater ease during aquatic therapy; this is because the water buoyancy makes the objects more manageable. Walking exercises are also much easier and less painful in the water.  The water provides resistance during the exercises, but it also relieves pressure on the joints, thus resulting in less discomfort during the sessions. Sometimes aquatic exercise is only the first step in rehabilitation. Eventually some patients participate in land-based therapy that helps further the recovery.

Don't allow your fears to slow down your rehabilitation. Relax and have confidence in the skills of the therapist. He or she has special training in this beneficial therapy and will be right beside you during this journey.