Aquatic therapy uses the buoyancy of the water to take the weight of the body off the patient and allows the patient to focus on the exercises while still providing resistance through the viscosity of the water.
With every movement in the water, the patient will be using their muscles while pushing against the viscosity of the water; this in turn will work to provide cardiovascular fitness and muscle toning all over the body.
When the water resistance is combined with the buoyancy, patients are able to strengthen muscle groups with decreased joint stress that they would not have been able to with land-based activities in the therapy gym.
The warmer water in the pool can allow muscles and joints to relax which accounts for greater blood circulation reducing edema and increasing strength and ROM.
When performing aquatic therapy, the focus is on proper posture and correct movements with the goal of advancing to performing exercises in the gym to prevent re-injury.