What is Aquatic Therapy

When working with neurodiverse patients, having the correct tools in your tool bag is the key to success. At Cutting Edge, one of our favorite tools is our pool. Aquatic therapy is a therapeutic modality utilized by our physical, occupational, and speech therapy teams. At our clinic, our pool is set up to allow us to utilize a variety of specialized tools such as an underwater treadmill, cameras, monitoring systems, resistant jets, and therapeutic massage jets. The pool temperature is typically set to a warm 94-96 degrees. This creates muscle relaxation which can promote increased range of motion. The buoyancy of the water decreases pressure on joints for pain management and also allows for the patient to be able to move more easily in the water to allow us to grade up activities if needed.

Results From Aquatic Therapy

Our aquatic patients have demonstrated increased body awareness from hydrostatic pressure, sensory modulation including proprioceptive input, tactile input, and vestibular input from the viscosity and deep pressure of the water. This also allows for the patient to be able to better identify where in space their body is positioned. We have seen increased participation from sensory regulation but also from increased motivation and participation from a preferred activity. We are able to provide beneficial effects to patients that combine: strengthening, offsetting the joints & bodyweight, and incorporation of increased flexibility in a safer medium of the water versus land. Once a patient is able to learn the motor planning and master difficult activities in the pool, we are able to see greater carry over and participation with the same activities on land.

If you have questions regarding aquatic therapy, please give us a call today at 469-675-3153.

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