Reap the Benefits of Aquatic Rehab Therapy

Reap the Benefits of Aquatic Rehab Therapy

Rehabilitating from an injury that requires physical therapy is often difficult and painful to achieve in a standard physical therapy setting. Your physical therapist may recommend aquatic rehab therapy as it can minimize the effects of gravity. The key to any physical therapy program lies in its ability to start slow and build up gradually to regain full strength or range of motion. Very few settings can rival aquatic rehab therapy in its ability to work in incremental steps.

The HPFY team shows you some great aquatic rehab therapy aids here that can make your rehab program more effective- and more fun!

Why Aquatic Rehab Therapy is Beneficial?

While aquatic rehab therapy may seem like playing in the pool, there is scientific benefit to working out in water. Buoyancy is a great property of water. Basically, water applies pressure in every direction including up which means it partially supports your body weight. This can take the strain off joints such as the knees, ankles, and hips. Water also offers resistance which helps build muscle strength. The benefits of aquatic therapy include:

  • Hydrostatic Pressure: Since water is denser than air it compresses your skin, muscles and joints acting like compression therapy. 
  • Dulled Sense of Touch: Water pressure forces the nervous system to dull the reticular system which can help minimize muscle pain
  • Resistance: The resistance water offers compared to the air around us is a huge benefit.
  • Muscle Memory: Aquatic therapy uses the natural viscosity and resistance of water to force you to move slowly and thus allows the brain to process signals from your muscles.
  • Improve Circulation: Since your heart is under constant pressure due to hydrostatic pressure, aquatic rehab therapy helps increase circulation.

Your specialized aquatic therapist can customize an exercise plan for your needs. Be sure to follow their instructions! They know best how your therapy should progress without risking any setbacks.

10 Great Aquatic Therapy Products

While water by itself is a great medium for rehab therapy, adding aquatic therapy aids helps expedite healing and allows for progress during your physical therapy sessions. Obviously, you should always check with your doctor or physical therapist before beginning any exercise program to ensure it’s safe.

Here are some great effective aquatic aids:

1. Sprint Aquatics Aqua Sprinter Flotation Belt

Available in sizes to fit individuals from 50 up to over 280 pounds, this aquatic rehab therapy aid keeps the user in the correct vertical position in the water during therapy. It attaches securely to the waist of the user and keeps the user in an upright position so they don’t fall forward.

2. Aqua Creek Elly Pool Elliptical Water Rider

By combining the benefits of rowing, stepping and biking, this aquatic therapy aid duplicates the natural motion of running but without the impact on your lower body joints. The durable brushed steel finish handles a pool environment well and requires little maintenance because of its sealed ball bearings. Resistance is increased by lever arms with wide blades so you can progress at your own rate.


3. AquaJogger AquaFit Barbells

The high quality closed foam of these resistance aquatic dumbbells tones, strengthens, and rehabilitates the upper body. Perfect for work in the shallow end of the pool, it includes a workout guide for guidance and instruction into the exercises they are made for.

4. Danmar Aquatic Head Float

This head float allows the head to rest without placing pressure on the spinal column, thereby encouraging a natural position. This makes aquatic therapy especially easier for those with reflex domination. Made from Ensolite marine flotation foam, it will not sink or absorb water even if cut.


5. Sprint Aquatics Aquatic Step

Just like a step apparatus you would use in an aerobics class, this aquatic rehab aid is perfect for gait training, water aerobics, or plyometrics. Available in two sizes (26”x 18”x 4.5” and 24.5”x 14.5”x 8”) both have nonslip tape on top for secure footing and a tub design for easy storage and drying. Think aerobics class in water!

6. AquaJogger X-Cuffs Water Resistance Ankle and Wrist Cuffs

These exercise cuffs can be worn on the ankles or wrists to add resistance to your aquatic rehab therapy session. This can increase the resistance, buoyancy, and surface area to provide a cardiovascular workout, tone, and strengthen muscles. The cuffs are made from EVA foam and are soft, durable, and chlorine resistant.


7. Sprint Aquatics Minimum Resistance 4 Inch Disc Hand Bells

Sprint Aquatics Minimum Resistance 4 Inch Disc Hand Bells are used for therapy and rehabilitation. They have a comfortable cushioned grip and are made of sealed open cell foam. Moreover, the hand bells come with a 5-inch handle between the foams and are 12 inches long

8. Sprint Aquatics Neoprene Gloves

By moving your hand and arms in the water, you improve your strength and range of motion during aquatic rehab therapy slowly and safely. Adding these neoprene gloves makes your workout more effective. These neoprene gloves have a rubberized neoprene palm with a neoprene backing and can increase the resistance for upper extremity exercises.


9. TheraBand Instructional Swim Bar

The TheraBand Instructional Swim Bar is a versatile swimming aid used under supervision by children, youth, seniors, and handicapped instruction programs. It is constructed from two modules of high-density foam. The swim bar is used for trunk stabilization and strengthening, improving flexibility and balance, and increasing range of motion in the upper extremities.

10. TheraBand Aquatics Kickroller

This rehab aid is a tubular flotation device that can increase buoyancy and resistance for upper body exercises to improve your aquatic rehab therapy session. By increasing the buoyancy and resistance, the user can strengthen the upper body while stretching the trunk and lower back. Versatile and comfortable, it has a 31” kickroller with a 1” diameter handle on each side for a secure grip.

It turns out the water in pools is a great place for rehabilitation therapy. By removing some of the stress on our bodies from buoyancy, it can help make our rehab program and exercises easier on our body and more efficient as it recovers from injury.


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