We often get asked the following question: what is the difference between physical therapy and aquatic therapy? Well, they are actually one in the same. Aquatic therapy is just a form of physical therapy performed in a warm therapy pool.
Physical Therapy and Aquatic Therapy Explained
- Physical Therapy: Physical Therapy is concerned with the remediation of impairments and disabilities and the promotion of mobility, functional ability, quality of life, and movement through evaluation and physical intervention carried out by licensed health care professionals known as Physical Therapists.
- Aquatic Therapy: As we already mentioned, aquatic therapy is just one of the many forms of physical therapy. Depending on your diagnosis, aquatic therapy – also known as water therapy – may be a part of your physical therapy plan. This is because aquatic therapy offers several unique benefits over land-based therapy, including: aquatic therapy is low-impact, buoyancy leads to less resistance, hydrostatic pressure helps increase circulation, the resistance of the water aids in controlled conditioning to help improve cardiovascular function, and warm therapy pools help decrease spasms and pain and promotes muscle relaxation.
If you do participate in aquatic therapy, you will eventually progress out of the pool and on to land therapy.