Aquatic Therapy for Stroke Patients

Strokes are the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of long-term disability in the United States. Each year, approximately 795,000 people will experience a stroke. While the outcome of a stroke can differ from person to person depending on which part of the brain is affected, common after effects include weakness or paralysis in certain parts of the body. This is why medical experts say that rehabilitation can be very valuable for patients who have had a stroke. In fact, one of the most effective types of rehab for stroke patients are performed in therapy pools.

Water exercise conducted in therapy pools or above ground lap pools can greatly help to improve mobility and strength in stroke patients. It is an effective, yet low impact exercise with varying degrees of difficulty.

Stroke Patient with Balance Issues

Many stroke patients may experience issues with balance, making it difficult to walk or perform rehabilitation exercises that require different forms of movement. Being able to maintain balance in a therapy pool means that using spa bells, knee flexor strength, and partaking in other weight bearing exercises now become an option.

Effective for patients with mobility issues

Many stroke patients may be left wheelchair-bound or with mobility issues that require the use of braces or crutches. This can limit the kinds of rehabilitation exercises they perform. However, an affordable therapy pool like a Fitmax iPool can make it easy for stroke patients to perform actions or movement they otherwise could not achieve outside of the water. In addition, many of these patients find they don’t require use of their mobility devices while in a therapy pool.

Cardiovascular fitness for prevention of stroke recurrence

A therapy pool can be beneficial to stroke patients who also need to improve cardiovascular fitness in an effort to prevent the recurrence of a stroke. Rehabilitation performed in the water can show significant improvements in muscle strength and walking speed. Effective sitting exercises that promote hand and arm strength can also be conducted.

Overall, the National Stroke Association recommends swimming and use of a therapy pool as one of the most effective exercises available for post-stroke patients. The water is a safe place to conduct essential exercises for lifestyle improvement, regain mobility and overall cardiovascular fitness. For those interested in preventative or post-stroke exercises, view our selection of personal therapy pools.