Medically Reviewed by: Jackie Hawk, PTA McLeod Sports Medicine
Rehabbing from an orthopedic surgery or injury? Trying to improve your sports performance? Aquatic Therapy might be the answer for you.
“You don’t have to be a great swimmer to benefit from aquatic therapy,” says McLeod Sports Medicine Director Adam Ploeg. “Exercising in the water reaps three specific the benefits. One, water’s buoyancy reduces body weight by 90%, taking stress off bones and joints. Two, water’s density – 800 times that of air – creates unique resistance for exercising. And three, the consistent warmth of a heated pool helps decrease pain during and after exercising.”
Aquatic Therapy doesn’t fit the stereotype of your grandmother’s water aerobics. Think short distance running, backpedaling and water dumbbell bench pressing used by NFL football players. Think professional athletes in basketball, soccer and track & field working out in the pool or even mixed martial arts UFC fighters who build cardiovascular endurance and flexibility through aquatic therapy.
ACTION YOU CAN TAKE
Ask your physician or coach if aquatic therapy could improve your health condition or sports performance. Then, seek assistance from a sports medicine program or rehabilitation center near you.
Sources include: McLeod Health, Human Kinetics Journal, Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, Journal of Advanced Nursing, Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, Aquatic Resources Network