Hydrotherapy, or aquatic therapy, is a form of physical therapy that involves using water for pain relief, healing and maximum exercise performance. The temperature and pressure properties of water can be used for many therapeutic purposes and to stimulate blood circulation and treat certain symptoms. The buoyancy of water decreases the amount of weight on your joints and helps support your body. It also allows for a safe environment for patients who need to test out their balance. It is beneficial to people suffering from sports injuries and allows for a faster return to normal activities. The hydrostatic pressure of water decreases edema in joints and extremities, helps return blood to the heart, and lowers the working heart rate as compared to the rate on land for the same work out intensity.
Water’s viscosity, or density, is also great for muscles. The resistive property of water is 600 times that of air, so the faster a body part is moved through the water, the stronger it becomes. At Alliance Physical Therapy in Chattanooga, our therapeutic water is kept at a temperature that promotes muscle relaxation, easier joint movement, and increased circulation. Patients who benefit greatly from aquatic therapy include those suffering from arthritis, fibromyalgia, sprains and strains, back pain, obesity, respiratory and circulatory programs, and those with athletic injuries.