Aquatic Physical Therapy, Aquatic Rehabilitation for Stroke
Water is truly a magical substance composing 70% of our bodies. It can give and restore life. It has many therapeutic benefits, which include improving the use of bodily functions lost during a stroke. Water therapy is this sense is commonly called hydrotherapy, the use of water to treat pain and disease dates back as far as ancient Egypt.
A large array of conditions from stress, arthritis, hemorrhoids, burns, muscle and joint problems and stroke patients have benefited from water therapy. Hydrotherapy as part of stroke rehabilitation can aid joint health and movement, help strengthen weakened muscles, stretch tight muscles and improve overall quality of life.
Because of its effectiveness, many hospitals and rehabilitation centers have special machines used for physical therapy that use water therapy. There are spas nowadays, that offer different forms of hydrotherapy to patients. Certain massage techniques can be used through the pressure of water from specially designed showers, these can be focused on certain areas of the body and used with different temperated water. The use of aromatherapy pools like the ones in ancient times with lavender oil, are also used at some spas.
The use of hydrotherapy can also be an activity post stroke, that you can do if you enjoy swimming or simply being in the water. While having some fun you can relieve yourself from any pain and aid your stroke recovery. It can also be used as an opportunity to bond with family during this trying time.
A more structured approach to rehab can be found in the form of aquatic exercises for stroke patients. Aquatic exercise is a form of water therapy used for stroke patients and injured athletes.
The waters buoyancy can aid the stroke patient and may exercises and movement alot easier. Activities such as walking, balancing, coordinating and strengthening that may be too difficult on land, can be done in the safety of the water with the added assistance of the buoyancy.
Hydrotherapy and water physical exercises is a great supplement to your stroke rehabilitation program. It can be an enjoyable way to recover from stroke, regain confidence, improve social skills and strengthen family ties.
What is your experience or thoughts about hydrotherapy? Share your comments and responses below.