What is Aquatic Therapy?

Aquatic physical therapy is the use of water to support physical therapy goals. It can be a great complement or alternative to land-based therapy for many children. The water is a natural motivator, which helps children engage and get the most out of therapy. Additionally, it has many properties that support therapeutic goals. Hydrostatic pressure increases the child’s awareness of their body and movements, which improves motor learning and coordination. It also is calming and regulating for children who struggle with attention and self-regulation. Water provides resistance which allows for strengthening and coordination of new motor skills. The buoyancy properties allow children to practice skills that they aren’t quite ready to do on land. These are just a few of the many benefits of aquatic therapy!

Is Aquatic Therapy appropriate for my child?

Many children would benefit from Aquatic Therapy! Our physical therapists will help determine whether or not aquatics is a good fit for your child. Here are a few factors that might indicate aquatic therapy:

  • Enjoys water!
  • Prone to elopement or wandering
  • Poor compliance with land-based therapy
  • Muscle tightness or spasticity
  • Difficulty moving on land
  • Low muscle tone
  • Joint pain

What will my child do in Aquatic Therapy?

Our aquatic physical therapists can address most all of your child’s therapy goals in the water. Here are a few outcomes you might see from aquatic therapy:

  • Strength and endurance
  • Gross motor skills
  • Body awareness
  • Motor planning and coordination
  • Pain reduction
  • Functional mobility
  • balance

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