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Home > Patient & Family Resources > Health Library > Water Exercise
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Water exercise uses water for resistance. It also may be called water therapy, pool therapy, aqua therapy, or aquatics. It's good exercise for many people who have osteoarthritis, back pain, or fibromyalgia. It's often used to help people in rehab after a joint replacement.
Exercising in water can increase your flexibility and range of motion without putting stress on your joints and spine. Warm water also helps relax your muscles.
You can walk and run in water, as well as jump or kick. But it's not a weight-bearing exercise. So you will need to add other types of exercise to help make your bones stronger.
Water exercise is often done as part of a physical therapy program. Or you may find a program in a gym or health club.
Although water exercise is usually gentle, talk to your doctor before you start a program. You want to make sure that water exercise is right for your health condition.
Other Works Consulted
Basford JR, Baxter GD (2010). Therapeutic physical agents. In WR Frontera et al., eds., Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Principles and Practice, 5th ed., vol. 2, pp. 1691–1712. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Iverson MD (2013). Introduction to physical medicine, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. In GS Firestein et al., eds., Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology, 9th ed., vol. 1, pp. 528–539. Philadelphia: Saunders.
Current as of: March 2, 2020
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Adam Husney MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineJoan Rigg PT, OCS - Physical Therapy
Current as of: March 2, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Joan Rigg PT, OCS - Physical Therapy
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