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Aquatic Therapy Effective for Some Cardiac Patients

July 20th, 2010
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Published December 05, 2007 by: Christine Cadena

Hydrotherapy is a practice in alternative healing that dates back many centuries. In the realms of today’s medical practice, many adults still use hydrotherapy as a way in which to treat health complications. For cardiac patients, hydrotherapy provides an effective way in which to manage some degree of aerobic activity while not placing too much stress upon the body. For patients who suffer from cardiovascular complications, there are a variety of health options on the market today. From the use of prescription medications to the use of medical devices and even surgery, many cardiac patients find the struggle in medical care may not be in the lack of choices but, instead, in the overwhelming number of treatment options and deciding which is best for their particular health complication.

In cardiac patients with a low-risk for health complications, there is a health benefit to hydrotherapy, specifically in the use of aquatic exercise. Because water presents a hydrodynamic benefit, including buoyancy and resistance, many cardiac patients find they experience a renewed sense of being without feel distressed after exercise. In aquatic therapy, and with water immersion, central blood volume is increased. Ultimately, these types of changes in the cardiovascular system can lead to increases in cardiac output.

For some cardiovascular patients, there may be a risk associated with aquatic therapy. While aquatic therapy is known to improve joint health, it may have some degree of adverse health effects when used by specific populations of cardiovascular patients. As a result, before beginning any aquatic therapy or hydrotherapy program, obtain clearance from your healthcare professional.

Improving Outcomes

If you suffer from a low-risk cardiovascular complication, including that associated with pulmonary flow or respiration, you may want to consider the services of a trained physical therapist. Using a therapist who is specialized in the benefits of aquatic therapy will provide for a more beneficial outcome. Because aquatic exercises can produce differing results for different patients, an aquatic therapy specialist can provide guidance and measure vital signs during exercise programs. In the long term, once your aquatic therapy program is established, you may not require the services and can begin your own aquatic therapy program unsupervised.

As with any complication associated with cardiovascular health, the key to your optimal health outcomes lies in the early detection and treatment. When considering the array of treatment options for cardiovascular disease, be certain to look at those which offer alternative healing option, including the use of aquatic exercise, both supervised and unsupervised. As always, seek guidance from your healthcare professional first.
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