Aquatherapy is one of the oldest forms of medical treatment. Bathing in hot mineral springs has been used in classical medicine as a cure for disease and injury dating back to the time of Hippocrates. The first documented use of water to treat orthopedic injuries is credited to the Romans. Please see our blog on Aquatic Therapy – The Facts.
Aquatic physical therapy at Boston Sports Medicine is NOT sharing a lane in a cold, crowded health club pool.
Aquatic physical therapy at Boston Sports Medicine Allston is performed in one of our two private $75,000 heated Hydroworx salt water pools with an aquatic treadmill. Our pools are kept at 88-90 degrees and are sanitized with sodium bromide. We keep strict attention to the pool chemicals to ensure that the pool water is always balanced and clean. See our blog on pool water chemistry. Exercise is prescribed by a licensed physical therapist. Techniques for aquatic therapy are diverse and tailored to the individual patient and their injury. Water therapy can be performed at various depths, and may include weight-bearing or non-weight-bearing exercises using special equipment such as flotation and resistive devices. Please review the video below for some examples.
What are the benefits of aquatic therapy?
Early joint movement is possible in the water even if you are experiencing pain. Warm salt water is analgesic and supports the body and reduces stress to the joints so you can strengthen and condition your muscles even as your injury heals.
Aquatic therapy can increase circulation and range of motion and improve balance, strength and endurance. It can also protect joints during exercise, reduce stress, and decrease swelling.
Who can benefit from aquatic therapy?
Post-surgical patients, people with athletic injuries, arthritis, chronic pain, neck and back injuries, and orthopedic injuries. We are able to start a patient with physical therapy before they can tolerate any land-based exercises. We can get runners running on the treadmill long before they are able to run on land. Our post-surgical patients walk on the treadmill without support even during their partial weight-bearing recovery phase. Our patients with severe back injuries are able to move freely and without pain in the warm salt water. Pregnant women may also greatly benefit from water therapy. See our blog on Water, Exercise, and Pregnancy for more information.
Advantages of a Hydroworx pool over a lap pool-based program
- A full-size variable speed underwater treadmill with a range up to 7.5 mph
- A shallow platform and deep well for variable water depth
- Water temperature of 88-90 degrees
- Odorless sanitation with sodium bromide
- Added buoyancy of salt-water
- Water jets with variable speeds for resistance
- Easy entry with five steps and a sturdy rail
- A continuous current for swimming or resistance to walking or running
- A massage hose to increase circulation and normalize injured soft tissues