There are a number of therapeutic effects when delivering exercises in water:
- It can unload joints and allow them to move in a relative ‘weightless’ environment. Buoyancy can be used to assist such movements. This is particularly useful in the early management of acute joint irritations including low back pain and sprains as well as degenerative conditions such as arthritis.
- A pressure effect exists on submerged tissue that assists in the movement of fluid within it. As such it can be an effective way to reduce swelling or lymphedema.
- The aquatic environment is a useful medium for sporting populations. Water running is a widely used cross training modality when weight bearing of the lower limb is contraindicated.