Aquatic Therapy

?What Is Aquatic Therapy
Aquatic therapy is a skilled, evidence-based treatment method used by both physical and occuptional therapists to enhance a child's functional abilities. The therapist uses the properties of warm, bouyant water to enhance a child's therapy program and to provide a fun and natural environment to effectively facilitate improvement with a variety of diagnoses ranging from musculoskeletal/neurological impairments, orthopedic deficits, sensory integration disorders, and much more.
?Why Water
Water is considered healing, therapeutic, and calming for many reasons. Warm water can be both relaxing and stimulating at the same time. It's easier for the child to learn to move in the non-restrictive environment of the water than on land.
Reasons To Consider Aquatic​ Therapy For Your Child
  • SENSORY EXPERIENCE:  ​Water provides more deep pressure to the body than air and gives the body full input at all times. Moving through water creates controlled vestibular stimulation in varying planes. All of this enhanced sensory input aids in the child's body awareness and development in motor learning. The water is also a natural environment for children to improve their oral motor skills such as blowing bubbles in the water.

  • PROPRIOCEPTIVE INPUT:  For children who have difficulty understanding where their body is or how it is moving, the constant pressure from the water is the perfect antidote to this problem.

  • GROSS MOTOR SKILLS:  Water can either assist or provide resistance to active movement through all planes of motion, facilitating gains in strength for all major muslce groups. The gravity-lessened environment helps children focus more on the balance and coordination of the movement than the strength it takes to complete it. Children who have difficulty with standing on one leg or jumping on land can do so in the water. Children who are learning to walk are assisted by the water due to it slowing down their movements and giving them more time to react.

  • MUSCULOSKELETAL COMPONENTS:  Exercises in the water are low impact. There is much less stress placed on the joints in the water. This can be beneficial for children with high muscle tone (hypertonia) who have difficulty moving on land. The warm water can also relax stiff muscles so kids can gain flexibility. For children with low muscle tone (hypotonia), the buoyancy of the water makes it easier for them to move using less strength.
Children Who May Benefit From Aquatic Therapy
  • Children who need orthopedic or post-operative therapy​​
  • Children with abnormal muscle tone, muscle weakenss, poor postural control, decreased endurance, and limited mobility
  • Children working to develop higher-level motor skills such as breath control, balance, coordination, and gait
  • Children with neurological and/or sensory motor problems

These are just a few examples of children that would benefit from Aquatic Therapy.  
Aquatic therapy is offered at the Donald W. Reynolds Boys and Girls Club in Fayetteville on Friday's from 9:00-12:00. This service is offered in addition to ongoing occupational and physical therapy being provided in the clinic setting.