Here’s the WDWS Saturday Morning segment with Scott Beatty and Dr. Peggy Hau!
Doctor of physical therapy, Peggy Hau discusses the benefits of aquatic therapy.
Listen below for the segment!
1. What is Aquatic Therapy
Aquatic therapy is equivalent to music therapy. As the name applies, music therapy uses music as a tool to deliver therapy. Aquatic means water. People will have therapy in a therapy pool.
Usually, the therapy pool is contained to keep the temperature of the air in the room around 92 degrees and the water at 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The environment is kept warm and relaxed.
2. What is special about aquatic therapy? What are the benefits of it when it is compared to land-based therapy?
The most important one is its buoyancy. When a body part is immersed in the water, the buoyancy supports the weight of that part. If a person cannot move their arms and legs because of weakness on land, they will be able to move them in the water. It provides a good way for people who are recovering from surgery and weak or people who have very low endurance and energy level to be able to start exercises.
I have a patient in the past, diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. She was so weak that she could not even lift up her legs in bed. She told me that she had not been cooking for a long time. She had no energy to do anything. But she could tolerate aquatic therapy. Later she was able to start cooking, shopping with her sister and even picked up that painting job of the balcony which she had put it off for years. Most important is that she was motivated to continue working out in gym and to maintain what she gained. Some time, we just need a little help to climb over a hurdle and then we can move on.
3. Who are the people will benefit from aquatic therapy? You have just mentioned Fibromyalgia. What else?
People are generally weak and have low endurance, like the fibromyalgia. Another group is post-surgical cases, such as after knee and hip replacement, back surgeries, and reconstructed knee and ankle surgeries. Those people may not be allowed to put weight on the leg but they can in the water. Aquatic therapy works really well with low back pain and hip pain patients. It is the little traction effect in the dangling position that helps to decompress the joints. I had a patient once, she had a disc problem in her low back. She could not get much relief from the pain pills but she said the only time she was not in pain was in the water.