Children who need help with physical therapy can be a difficult situation, the truth is that children are not as patient as adults and they do not have the same strength and limitation adults do. That’s why physical therapists all over the country continue to utilize the highly-effective benefits of aquatic therapy to help children in need of physical therapy and for good reason.
What is Aquatic Therapy for Kids?
Pediatric aquatic therapy is a great alternative to land therapy to help children meet strength, range of motion/flexibility, balance, coordination, endurance, and walking goals. The buoyancy of the water helps reduce human body weight and allows children to move in ways they simply can’t on land.
What is Aquatic Therapy Used For?
It’s been proven that walking in water provides more than 10 times the resistance of walking on land. Therefore, a child walking in the pool receives the benefit of both the support and resistance of the water. Aquatic therapy also helps relax muscles as pool water is maintained at a warm temperature around 88-90 degrees. Movement within and against warm water has a massaging effect on muscles, joints, and ligaments improving circulation and reducing inflammation pain. As you can see, aquatic therapy has a lot of health benefits and is a great environment for therapy sessions.
Plus, how many kids do you know that don’t love jumping in the pool? Now they can enjoy the fun of the water and the benefits of helpful water exercises.
5 Helpful Benefits of Aquatic Therapy
If your child suffers from a chronic illness, needs to rehabilitate after an injury, or needs help with developing social and motor skills, pediatric aquatic therapy is a great option. Learn more about the five of the most helpful ways it can benefit your child’s development.
1. Increased strength and range of motion – For children who have suffered an injury such as a broken leg, their ability to move joints freely is highly limited due to swelling and lack of strength in their muscles. Therapy pools are a great environment to help with recovery due to the warm water that helps strengthen the joints. Plus, the resistance of the water makes it easier to lift the leg up and down and strengthen muscles. Performing exercises in the water also helps improve balance and coordination needed after suffering an injury.
2. Improves breath control and respiration – If a child suffers from speech issues, aquatic therapy can be very beneficial. Performing simple exercises such as holding their breath underwater while raising their arms up and down can help. The resistance of the water will help improve proper breathing control for speaking.
3. Reach developmental milestones – There are multiple scenarios where children need physical therapy to help achieve developmental milestones such as walking, crawling, rolling, and jumping. For example, studies have shown that aquatic therapy has helped children with cerebral palsy or diagnosed with autism in improving mobility and balance. They can benefit learning how to roll or walk in the water a lot easier compared to on land, and overall, water can help increase functional abilities and acquisition of developmental milestones.
4. Improved social skills and self-confidence – When children can improve their motor skills, it helps decrease social anxiety and increase confidence. Performing exercises and games in the pool can improve competitive play, encourage speaking in children who have anxiety, and learn how to share toys. All these exercises can result in better social interaction and more confidence.
5. Seen as a fun and safe environment for therapy sessions – Pediatric aquatic therapy can also be fun for children. If they don’t have a fear of water, they may see the therapy sessions as a fun exercise compared to a task. Plus, being in a therapy pool can have a recreational feel to it compared to a clinical office setting, making it less intimidating. Not to mention they aren’t putting a lot of stress on the body in the water so it makes for a safer environment for therapy sessions.
To help your child live a happier and more functional life, consider aquatic therapy to help reach their full potential. With many benefits, including developing motor skills, improving social interaction and confidence, helping with speech, and building stronger muscles, pediatric aquatic therapy offers a lot to help your child.
Looking for pediatric aquatic therapy near me?
Ferrell-Whited has become the team of trusted, certified physical therapists in Northeast Ohio due to their exceptional personal care and variety of helpful physical therapy services, including aquatic therapy, women’s physical therapy, cupping therapy, and more. With five locations throughout Medina County, Ferrell-Whited offers the treatment method that will help you or your children in living a happier life. To learn more, call or visit our Medina Main Clinic or NEOMed Clinic in Rootstown for more information and schedule a consultation. For more information on aquatic therapy classes and other physical therapy services, visit www.ferrellwhited.com.