Aquatic therapy can be the perfect treatment option for certain joint disorders, especially if your balance has been affected. The water relieves the weight and pressure on the joints, allowing for fluid motions and less stress as you move through the exercises. The following tips can help you get the most out of your aquatic therapy.
Tip #1: Schedule Enough Sessions
Your doctor and therapist should work together to come up with a viable treatment plan, and you may be prescribed some exercises to do daily at home between therapy sessions. These exercises may or may not be in the pool. If they aren't in the pool, make sure your therapy sessions are long enough so that your therapist can help you learn these exercises without cutting into your aquatic therapy time. If they are in the pool on your own time, consider requesting extra therapy sessions to ensure you are comfortable doing the exercises on your own.
Tip #2: Don't Miss Sessions
Unlike regular physical therapy, which can typically be done on standard equipment or with no equipment at all, aquatic physical therapy requires time in the pool. Make sure you attend all your sessions, especially if you don't have a pool to continue the exercises at home. The therapy will only yield positive results if it is used regularly.
Tip #3: Use a Spotter
If you have a home pool and your therapist has cleared you to complete some exercises on your own at home, you still need to have a spotter. This is especially true if balance issues are a concern. A spotter is there to get help if something goes awry. In some cases, your therapist may work with a family member so they can help you through your exercises, too, so your spotter can also become your helper in this regard.
Tip #4: Don't Overdo it
This can be a hard one, especially if you aren't used to being laid up. Follow the recommendations of your therapist exactly. Don't try to do your aquatic exercises more frequently at home if your therapist has advised otherwise, or you may end up injuring yourself. Also, work with your therapist and doctor to get back to your normal activities. Even if you are feeling better, you don't want to rush out and play active sports or lift heavy objects since your body may not be done healing yet. If you are feeling better, bring it up with your therapist. They can make an assessment to see if you are able to return to normal activities sooner than originally expected.