Aquatic Therapy Exercises for Lower Body Injuries [4 Program Examples]

Aquatic Therapy Exercises for Lower Body Injuries [4 Program Examples]

Curious to know what an aquatic therapy session actually looks like? Wondering which exercises are used for different conditions? In this article, we’re giving you a behind-the-scenes look at four different aquatic therapy sessions for these lower body injuries:

  • Torn hamstring
  • ACL, MCL, or meniscus Tears
  • Total knee repair
  • Achilles tendon repair

Aquatic Therapy Exercises for a Torn Hamstring

After a slip on a wet floor, this patient was left with a completely torn hamstring. The pain was overwhelming, was unable to sit, and was told by doctors that he would need to wear a brace for the rest of his life. The HydroWorx 1200 gave him a second chance at recovery and regaining independence in life.

Exercises in his session included supported walking, unsupported walking, balance work, ball toss, varying hamstring stretches, and more.

Hamstring tears can result in gait issues, severe pain, and swelling. With these conditions, basic movements like simply walking can become challenging for even the most elite athlete. Hydrotherapy can soothe injured hamstrings and create an environment to begin rehab earlier in the recovery process.

Aquatic Therapy Exercises for ACL, MCL, or Meniscus Tears

After eight weeks of post-op physical therapy on land, this volleyball player hit a plateau in her ACL, MCL, and meniscus tear recovery. Her Athletic Trainer implemented aquatic therapy with a HydroWorx pool to help her achieve new progress.

Exercises for her sessions included leg raises, hip adductions, knee flexion, heel/toe raises, marching in place, walking on the underwater treadmill, static stretching, and more.

In the United States, it is estimated that there are over 200,000 ACL-related injuries each year and more than 100,000 ACL reconstruction surgeries performed every year. Incorporating aquatic therapy into rehab programs for ACL, MCL, or meniscus tears is a proven method for speeding up the recovery process. Download our ACL recovery tip sheet to learn more.

Aquatic Therapy Exercises for Total Knee Repair

This athlete sustained a knee injury while playing soccer that resulted in a torn ACL, MCL, PCL, and medial meniscus.  After a total knee repair, she began her physical therapy program.

Exercises incorporated into her sessions included using a kickboard, flippers, underwater treadmill, balance work, resistance jet, and more.

Water provides a supportive environment to retrain and strengthen accessory muscles for balance after knee injuries. The warm temperature improves circulation, reduces pain, and allows for an increased range of motion.

Aquatic Therapy Exercises for Achilles Tendon Repair

Utilizing varying water depths is an added benefit for incorporating hydrotherapy into foot and ankle injury recovery programs. It helps patients regain weight-bearing ability as they transition to land rehab.  Watch this on-demand webinar to learn strategies to help patients safely, efficiently, and effectively regain full weight bearing with decreased pain and increased range of motion.

Exercises used in his sessions included carrying weights to improve core strength, side-stepping, walking backward, calf raises, and more.

In this video, you’ll see the aquatic therapy exercises used in a recovery program for a patient’s Achilles tendon injury while skiing. Because hydrotherapy was incorporated into his rehab program, he was able to begin sooner than expected and resulted in a quicker recovery.

Find out which of our products are the best fit for you. Speak with one of our team members to begin developing a strategy that meets your aquatic therapy goals!