What Is Water Therapy?

There are three important components of using water as a therapy to decrease pain and re-habilitate, they are buoyancy, resistance, and drag and turbulence.

Water can be used as a therapy to wash away tensions and soothe your body after working hard. Water therapy is used to treat muscle aches and pains. Water therapy helps in the treatment of arthritis and other debilitating conditions.

There are three important components of using water as a therapy to decrease pain and re-habilitate, they are buoyancy, resistance, and drag and turbulence.

Buoyancy is defined as the upward thrust your body receives in the water which is the opposite of the downward thrust the body experiences on land due to gravity. Due to buoyancy, body weight is decreased by 90% when in the water. With this buoyancy the force of compression on the joints is decreased dramatically, making it possible to reach full range of motion. The water acts like a natural support for all the limbs easing the pressure on joints even further. All of this means that it is possible to move and exercise in water with little risk of injury.



Resistance is defined as a force that works against the muscle making it work harder. Water is denser than air and increases the resistance on the muscles by 12. It is possible to build greater strength in the water than on land due to the resistance factor and the lack of land gravity.

Drag & turbulence are broken down into two factors, but they both work together to benefit the body. Drag creates opposition to the movements of the limbs in the water. Turbulence is the agitation of the surrounding water that can be created in the water that can be used as a hydromassage effect.

Water therapy uses the elements of stretching, exercise and massage to reach its goals. When the water is kept at or above 86 degrees the muscles loosen and become less tense. It is possible to increase the stretch and lengthen loose muscles that could never be achieved on land. You should always do a warm up of all joints by water walking, jogging or swimming laps for 7 minutes before doing any deep stretching. It is even more effective to do another set of aerobic exercise in the pool for about 20 minutes and then do an even deeper stretch. Once the body is warmed up the range of motion can be increased on a limb or part of the body that needs rehabilitation.

More and more people are recognizing the benefits of warm water in the massage realm. Massage therapists can conduct a massage in a warm hot tub and really do wonders for tense muscles.

Water therapy is usually done to rehabilitate a specific area of the body that has been injured or is causing pain due to a condition. Some conditions that water therapy can help with are fibromyalgia, stroke recovery, head injuries, spinal cord injury, Chronic Pain Syndrome, arthritis, neck injuries, rehabilitation after surgery, sports injuries and more. But even if you are pain free and healthy you can benefit from the soothing effects of water therapy.

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