Water therapy is recreation, physical, or occupational therapy that occurs in a heated swimming pool. You will usually find water therapy talked about in connection with rehabilitation for those who have experienced strokes or have been in accidents. These low impact workouts carried out in the water can help those who are seeking to regain flexibility and strength. However what about infants and kids who are experiencing developmental delays?
Aquatherapy for children with disabilities, along with improving flexibility and strength, also concentrates on motor planning, body awareness, sensory integration, and learning the way to move muscles in new ways. The swimming pool is the best environment to learn such skills since it makes movement simple, safe and fun.
Below are a few of the reasons why you may consider water therapy for your little one:
- Workouts in the water are low impact. You need not worry about stressing muscle and joints in the water. This can be beneficial for babies and toddlers a with hypertonia or high muscle tone who have trouble moving.
The warm water may also loosen up stiff muscles, so little ones can gain flexibility in the water they might not have on land.
- For children and infants with hypotonia or low muscle tone, there is far less gravity in the water, so it is simpler for them to move with less strength. These children can be kept afloat buoyed by the water while they workout.
- Blind infants are usually unable to process proprioceptive input, which means that they are unable to understand where their body is or even how it is moving. This obviously can make it challenging to learn how to plan their movements or even move. Infants and kids with proprioceptive problems might also find themselves kicking their legs or even hitting themselves in unacceptable ways so as to get that response that they are lacking. The constant light pressure, which surrounds the body in the water, is the best remedy to this condition. It is easier to learn how to move in water since you are much more aware of your body and movements.
- Another issue popular for children with vision impairments is having a difficult time processing directional cues. Am I leaning to the side? Which way is up or am I standing straight? The constant push up by water is the best place to learn about the concepts of up and down.
- Workouts in the water may be done in various positions, safely and comfortable because you do not need to worry about falling or gravity.
- Water offers a natural resistance which can increase the strength of muscles; however, this resistance is in proportion to the energy exerted against it, so the harder you kick or push, the more of an exercise you get. If you are unable to push as hard, you will get a small exercise. The water automatically adjusts to the needs of your child.
- Water has minimal gravity, which makes it simpler to concentrate on kicking and walking movements and coordination and honing balance, and never having to be worried about having a good strength.
- The hydrostatic found in water pushes uniformly on all of the body instantly. This will help the heart in blood circulation and lower hypertension while in the water. It can also help to relax the body and decrease stress.
Happy water therapy!
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