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Pool Play Can Also Be Therapeutic

Aquatic, or pool, therapy is an exercise program that makes use of the water to alleviate or treat certain medical conditions. Water is a good base for performing exercise. It allows freedom of movement while at the same time providing resistance necessary for building muscle strength and flexibility.

Water in liquid form – such as that used in pools – is viscous. Being viscous, it provides buoyancy and resistance or friction, thus aquatic therapy provides the conditions suitable for improving a patient’s strength. For example, walking half-submerged in water provides more resistance compared to performing similar routines on land. This resistance is used during aquatic therapy to develop a patient’s muscles.

While providing resistance, water’s viscous property likewise provides buoyancy through hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure enables water to support the weight of the patient. Buoyancy decreases the amount of stress on the joints, making it easier and less painful for the patient to perform exercises.

Aquatic therapy is especially useful for patients who are strengthening muscular endurance, suffering from arthritis, in the process of healing fractured bones, overweight, improving balance, coordination and cardiovascular conditioning or simply trying to maintain fitness.

While aquatic therapy can be applied to a range of conditions, it is not for everyone. People with cardiac disease are not recommended to participate in aquatic therapy.

Aquatic therapy is not advisable those who have fevers, infections or bowel/bladder incontinence.

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