Going Swimmingly

Aquatic therapy can provide benefits for patients they may not receive on solid ground.

For patients with arthritis, fibromyalgia or other health concerns that can make exercise difficult, aquatic therapy provides an opportunity to strengthen their bodies without the added pressure of gravity.

“The water’s buoyancy takes weight off the person, so they are able to move more freely to exercise, ” explained Kerry Lucas, PT, DPT, at Saint Joseph Park Physical Therapy. “The buoyancy also reduces pressure on the patient’s joints.”

Buoyancy does not equal less effective exercise, however. The water provides resistance, which helps patients strengthen their muscles while performing therapy. Patients work one on one with their therapist, and the benefits can be seen in and out of the water.

“I had one patient with arthritis so severe, she was unable to stand upright to walk,” Lucas said. “When we began working in the pool, she had much better posture. She was able to exercise, and now, she is much more mobile at home.”

Aquatic therapy classes are available at two locations: C.M. Gatton Beaumont YMCA and Legacy Reserve at Fritz Farm.

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2019 edition of Spirit of Health. For more stories like this one, subscribe to Spirit of Health magazine today.