Aquatic Therapy Helps with Parkinson’s Disease

How Effective is Aquatic Therapy for Parkinson's Disease?

Parkinson’s is a chronic and gradual movement and coordination problem. Its signs occur due to neuron death and a reduction in dopamine synthesis in the brain. Parkinson’s disease patients may have a variety of signs, including:

  • Tremors
  • Stiffness
  • Minor movements
  • Weak balance
  • Too slow or too fast movements
  • Mobility issues
  • A voice that is feeble or quiet

Critical brain cells or neurons are accountable for implementing information to gland cells, nerve cells, and muscles. Parkinson’s disease causes specific neurons to malfunction and die.

This article aims to educate patients about the positive effects of aqua therapy on Parkinson’s disease, how to use it to help patients, various exercises, etc.

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Approximately 1 million Americans have Parkinson’s disease, per the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. Around 60,000 new cases are identified in the United States yearly. This disease affects 7-10 million individuals worldwide. Aside from documented instances, countless more Americans live with Parkinson’s disease without realizing it. The typical age of diagnosis is 62, and as the baby boomer population ages, it is projected that Parkinson’s diagnoses would more than double.

The illness mostly damages brain cells in the substantia nigra, a critical brain area. Parkinson’s disease affects the neurons that create dopamine. This chemical conveys information about balance and motion, which is why people with this illness have problems managing their bodies’ movements.


How to Help Patients with Parkinson’s Disease

Scientists are not sure what can cause Parkinson’s disease, and they are yet to find a specific remedy. In many circumstances, persons who are identified with the ailment are prescribed treatment or undergo surgery to address it. While these solutions do not cure the ailment, they can enhance the quality of life and aid with symptom management.

Some people choose to enhance their quality of life and general health to control symptoms. Patients are turning to the following resources to do this:

  • Natural supplements like:
    • Vitamin E
    • Creatine
    • Vitamin C
  • Therapies like:
    • Yoga
    • Meditation
    • Aquatic therapy

In many circumstances, these Parkinson’s treatment options can be used in conjunction with medicines and surgery, or they can be used alone to manage signs.


Aquatic Exercise for Parkinson’s Disease

Patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease who do exercises on a daily basis move and have a better balance than other patients. In addition, water has unique features that allow it to be utilized for both rehabilitation and exercise, particularly for patients who are not able to walk freely on the land, as is often the issue with Parkinson’s disease patients.


Does Aqua Therapy Reduce Fear of Falling among Parkinson’s Patients?

The fear of falling dissipates in the water. Gravity, the most dangerous factor for persons with balance disorders, is usually not a problem in the pool. The water buoyancy can reduce the chance of falling significantly. Even when a patient stumbles, the risk of damage is low.

The Aqua pool provides a secure and encouraging environment for rehabilitation and fitness. Patients can engage with physiotherapists with the extra assurance that falling is less probable and that there are bars and other safety precautions to assist them even if they do briefly lose balance.

The buoyancy of water instantly makes someone immersed feel lighter. An offset of up to 80-90 percent of a client’s body weight can occur depending on submersion depth. As a result, a 200-pound guy would move as though he weighed just 20-40 pounds. Consequently, his motions would need less strength than if he were making identical moves on land.


Does Aqua Therapy Help Parkinson’s Patients Move Easier?

More significant motions are possible thanks to buoyancy. Patients can walk with a more regular or exaggerated stride and perform increasingly broader ranges of motion. Around the same time, resistance and turbulence pose problems to balance and coordination.

Furthermore, the relaxing, warm water temperature works by relaxing the muscles and aiding in reducing stiffness and soreness. When patients with Parkinson’s can float and maneuver in a pool, they will feel much more relaxed than when they are on land. As a result, patients may stand taller, extend their trucks further, and move more freely.

Tremors are a common complaint among people living with Parkinson’s, and water therapy can help with this. A warm pool helps relieve muscle tension as the resistance of water softens movements. Tremors are reduced, giving patients more chance to react and concentrate on the activity.

Because the water is frequently maintained warmer throughout these sessions, it is critical to maintaining the air warm to avoid shivering. Providing clothes or a cover when patients enter and exit the pool can also assist in keeping them comfortable.

The force imposed by water on the body is called Hydrostatic pressure. This pressure is an extra advantage of aquatic treatment. Even people with severe Parkinson’s disease might benefit from being underwater in an aquatic treatment pool. Hydrostatic pressure can cause:

  • Reduce swollenness
  • Pain reduction
  • Assist the heart and increase blood circulation
  • Reduce the amount of sensory information in the brain.
  • Decrease blood pooling in the limbs.

Patients who are new to hydrotherapy and fitness may profit simply by entering the pool. In addition, physical therapists might utilize this early progress to encourage patients to undertake exercises and activities they previously believed were impossible.

Low-impact training is achievable and easy to perform in the water. Each stride on land may put a strain on muscles, joints, and tissues. However, buoyancy generally puts less strain on the muscles and body in the water. As a result, patients who are unable to move smoothly on land may find it much simpler to move in the water. Simultaneously, the water offers some resistance, which improves the efficacy of workouts.

Because people living with Parkinson’s may be concerned about falling and moving, they may avoid exercising. Because of the reluctance, muscles may deteriorate even more without training, resulting in even narrower action ranges.

Patients who are unable to carry loads may see themselves doing less and losing confidence. Patients who participate in Parkinson’s disease exercise routines in an aquatic treatment environment feel a lot more comfortable, encouraging them to exercise and progressively gain strength.


How Effective is Aquatic Therapy for Parkinson’s Disease?

A lot of exercise research has found that aquatic therapy for Parkinson’s disease may be quite successful, especially in comparison to other methods of Parkinson’s disease workouts and therapies.

Research studies comparing Parkinson’s disease aquatic therapy and land-based Parkinson’s disease therapy were published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in 2011. Researchers concluded that patients receiving aquatic therapy improved their postural stability “significantly” more.

A study conducted by Brazilian academics was published in the journal Advances in Parkinson’s Disease in 2013. The study examined Parkinson’s patients before, during, and after aquatic treatment and determined that the patients’ motor abilities enhanced after Parkinson’s disease aqua workouts.

A 2012 research published in Gait & Posture discovered that patients who participated in aquatic training programs improved their hip angle, gait, speed, and stride length. Much more research has confirmed similar findings, suggesting that water treatment and exercise can help Parkinson’s sufferers. Some studies have also indicated that water treatment is beneficial for Alzheimer’s disease and other critical illnesses.


Water Therapy Exercises for Parkinson’s Disease

Aquatic treatment allows for a variety of Parkinson’s disease therapeutic exercises. Let us walk you through the most crucial ones first:


Standing exercises

To strengthen core muscles, patients should attempt standing or marching while stretching. Focusing on posture can also assist increase muscle strength and stability, which can be difficult for those with Parkinson’s disease.


Strengthening exercises

The water buoyancy makes leg lifts simpler. In addition, it can assist develop muscles to enhance mobility. Walking on the treadmill and doing hip extension exercises may improve range of motion and posture. During exercises of postural and leg alignment, therapists can make patients half-submerged in treatment pools.


Walking exercises

Patients can be dunked deeper to assist with walking. At first, individuals may wish to grab onto the support bars, but with experience, patients may discover that they can walk without any help, particularly when immersed up to the neck. Patients can gradually restore agility, stability, and coordination by practicing basic motions like walking. Finally, patients are able to walk:

  • Backward
  • Forward
  • Using side steps

These exercises provide various motions that help boost posture and flexibility. Endurance and stamina grow with each repeat.


Aerobic exercises

Patients who enhance their walking and mobility might take advantage of the aerobic training in the pool. This is highly critical to Parkinson’s disease patients, who may undergo less physical activity if they are afraid of falling or have mobility issues.

Patients may have general weakness or lack of fitness if they do not engage in aerobic activity. Over time, a lack of aerobic activity might contribute to more significant blood pressure or heart health problems. The aquatic treatment makes aerobic exercise accessible to many Parkinson’s patients, enabling them to realize the benefits of this sort of exercise.


Stretching exercises

Exercise routines, for example, Yoga, Pilates, and other types are also feasible in an aquatic treatment setting and may provide several advantages to Parkinson’s patients. Yoga and Pilates promote a full range of motion and breathing techniques to boost confidence, flexibility, and power.

These exercises can be very challenging for Parkinson’s patients when they are performed on land. However, they become more manageable when they are performed in therapy pools due to the buoyancy of the water, which supports the patient as they make new movements. Pilates, yoga, and other exercises can also be very effective in the water because the water offers natural resistance, making the muscles and the heart work harder to get through the resistance.


How Does Aqua Therapy Effect Whole-Body Healing?

Because moving in water is more straightforward than on land, patients gain confidence quickly when they find mobility is more straightforward than they imagined. In addition, patients’ confidence in the water might encourage them to attempt new workouts and motions.

One of the significant issues for individuals with Parkinson’s disease and other chronic diseases is that they may experience a variety of frustrations. Patients may have attempted exercises or motions and failed, leaving them hesitant to attempt again because they feel they “can’t” accomplish a particular action. Water treatment and training can demonstrate to patients that they can, making them more willing to attempt other Parkinson’s disease exercise routines.

Aquatic surroundings are also excellent for moving facial muscles, practicing breath control, and increasing vocal loudness. Clients frequently like making an echo by blowing bubbles or ping pong balls over the pool. Exercises to engage the brain include counting forward or backward by twos or threes, changing directions quickly as needed, and talking about historical or current issues.

Aquatic treatment can benefit people with Parkinson’s by combining social, mental, and physical activities. Patients that attempt this form of treatment report the following:

  • Increased stability
  • A greater range of motion
  • Increased independence
  • Improved living quality
  • Increased self-assurance

One of the most irritating aspects of a Parkinson’s diagnosis is being told that the disease is chronic and progressing. Patients are concerned that there is no treatment and that they would gradually lose their freedom. However, patients can notice that by using water treatment and exercise, they control their symptoms and, in some cases, increase mobility and function, which improves their perspective as they enhance their overall condition.

Water-based treatment can help motivate patients to stay active. The motor skills and mobility in patients with Parkinson’s disease can be preserved for longer and to a greater extent if they exercise and stay fit early on, according to neurologist Dr. Lynn Struck of the Iowa Parkinson Disease Information and Referral Center. Parkinson’s disease exercise treatment and water therapy add intangible advantages, provide genuine, practical benefits.

Other, less measurable advantages for patients who attempt aquatic therapy are:

  • Group sessions can promote socialization, which can help to lessen the risk of anxiety, despair, and loneliness that chronic sickness can bring.
  • Exercise has been proved to lower stress and boost confidence, which is especially beneficial for those suffering from severe conditions like Parkinson’s.
  • Aquatic treatment may be relaxing and comforting, which is crucial in lowering the stress and emotional upheaval that comes with living with a chronic illness.

Parkinson’s Patients can enjoy the tranquility that comes with being securely immersed in warm water, just as healthy individuals will feel comforted by stepping into a warm bath, and anybody can feel calmer by floating in a water therapy pool on a warm day.

For people with Parkinson’s disease, several physical therapists and physicians advocate a water-based exercise regimen. Indeed, water treatment has been endorsed by the American Parkinson’s Disease Association as a useful choice for Parkinson’s sufferers.


Hints for Aquatic Exercise for Parkinson’s Disease

Although water treatment has a variety of advantages for Parkinson’s patients, physiotherapists, athletic trainers, and fitness training instructors should keep a few things in mind when leasing or purchasing Parkinson’s disease exercise equipment and delivering aquatic therapy.


Buoyancy may be a problem for patients

While buoyancy in the water can make movement simpler and develop the power at the core, it can also provide difficulty for individuals who are just beginning out as well those with weaker or spastic muscles and limbs. This can lead to poor balance issues. Using grasp or float supports can be beneficial significantly as patients gradually acquire confidence and strength.


Patients may experience stress and anxiety initially

Patients who have failed to respond to several medications may have low expectations. Some may be concerned about their ability to be safe in the pool while having a limited range of motion. Being seen in a swimming suit by others can be uncomfortable for many persons who have physical limitations caused by Parkinson’s and other diseases.

There are several interventions that can assist people with these difficulties. Other patients’ testimonials and more data about water treatment might be beneficial. Explaining the treatment pool, Parkinson’s disease therapy regimen, and what will happen inside and outside the pool can also be beneficial. In many circumstances, open communication, empathy, and humor may assist patients in overcoming hesitation, shyness, and concern.


Environment is Important

It is critical to creating the correct atmosphere in addition to devising a Parkinson’s disease physical treatment program and leasing or purchasing the necessary equipment. It might be beneficial to create a nice therapeutic setting and to allow plenty of time for inquiries and treatment. Colors and music may help to create a soothing and peaceful environment. A healthy combination of privacy and assistance can also make patients feel more at ease.


Aquatic Therapy Near me in Las Vegas

Aquatic Therapy in Las Vegas is available via Health & Care Professional Network. For over 15 years, we have been performing in-home care services in Las Vegas.

For further information, please contact us at (702) 871-9917. You may learn more about different Home Health services.

If you have any questions related to aquatic therapy, write them down in the comment section. Our experts will respond to them as soon as possible.

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