How Aqua Therapy Works

Okay moving on. Therapy by definition is all
about helping us get healthy and sometimes, knowing
what to expect in therapy can make it easier
to get started. So today I’m checking out what
aqua therapy is all about. (upbeat music) So today I am with Jess at
the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. Now Jess, I think
we should start with talking about who exactly
aqua therapy is for. – Aqua therapy is for all age
ranges and all populations. Chronic patients,
musculoskeletal, neuromuscular which could be our
spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, multiple
sclerosis and Parkinson’s. (upbeat music) – So I would imagine getting in the water is
actually allowing these people to move
a little bit easier? – Absolutely. So the water allows a
really unique environment using buoyancy and
viscosity to allow both off-weighting of our joints
and a decrease in pain. It’s a really great way and
an easy way to get moving. – They may be a little concerned about getting into the water,
they may not know how to swim and so they say I don’t
want to get into the pool. What do you say to them? – Our pool is four feet around. Most people’s heads will
be well out of water and so it really does allow a
safe environment to exercise. – Okay so we’re gonna
get in the pool. – Yes. – And you’re gonna
show me some exercises. – Absolutely. (upbeat music) It’s warm.
– It’s warm! – Yes, it’s really warm.
– Oh this is my kind of pool. It’s warm. – Yes and it makes
you feel more relaxed. – Yes. – And decreases pain if
you use pain management. So for people who may
be a little bit nervous about getting in the pool
or scared of falling, we can give them a
noodle to support them. This is how we typically warm up a lot of our aquatic sessions. This will allow us an
increase in balance, stability, maybe also
if there’s a little bit less functional strength or if we’re just
off-weighting our joints, opening up and increasing
our range of motion in what can be a pain-free
environment for a lot of people. Now we’ll go over to
our right and left. – [Jane] Right and left. – So we know that
walking also improves balance whether it’s in the
aquatic environment on land. We’re gonna try to progress
this and show how we can use this as a resisted
exercise as well. So I’m gonna have you
push the noodle down and have a seat on it and we’re gonna do
some aerobic exercise. – Okay.
– Okay. So from here, I’m gonna have
you just start bicycling. Again we can always
make this easier or harder using our hands or not using our hands. – [Jane] We wrap things up
with some arm exercises. – Keep our arms out and
then you’re gonna push all the way down to your thighs and you can even tell
you’re using your cores. – I was just about to
say I can feel my core. – And so once we come up,
let’s come to maybe another one of our exercises
out to the side and we’ll just push down
and now you can tell the balance is a little easier, but we’re still doing a
good shoulder exercise. – So Jess, I think the biggest
takeaway that we can take from aquatic therapy is
that it’s really an easy way to get moving and get healthy. – Yeah absolutely and
it really captures all of our different
patients’ ages and population. It’s something that
everyone can really use. – To learn how other things
work in the world of health, just head to our website, (Jane laughs)


  1. What do you call the materials u used in the pool? The rubber one and the weights. Is it available in the market? Thanks

  2. I had over 90% tear in my rotator cuff ! I then surgery, and after had aquatic therapy.
    I am now in the 1% who can raise my arm straight up over my head!
    Thank you to my physical therapist Sheila Taylor at Grayslake rehabilitation! 💕💕

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