Physical therapy that is performed in the water has tremendous benefits and has been utilized by many therapists with a wide variety of client populations and disabilities. One particular group that does very well with aquatic therapy is children.
Aquatic therapy can help pediatric clients with an assortment of neurological, genetic, developmental and orthopedic disorders.
Some of the benefits of aquatic therapy are strengthening of weak muscles, maintenance or increase in range of motion of joints, relief of pain and muscle spasm and re-education of paralyzed muscles.
Water therapy can also assist in the development of perceptual and sensory awareness, assist with respiratory function, and help with the development of balance, coordination, and posture.
Children who have limited active movement are often lacking in perceptual development, which includes body image and spatial awareness. Water provides a tremendous amount of tactile and proprioceptive feedback that can help improve the child’s awareness of his/her body and spatial orientation.
In addition to the physical benefits that aquatic therapy has on the body, there is also the emotional enrichment. As a child develops the ability to move and enjoy the water, there is a definite improvement in their self-awareness and selfesteem. The achievement of simple skills give the child a sense of independence and accomplishment.