Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

October 26, 2016

Physical Therapy Focus: Using Water To Improve Motor Skills by Erin Krueger DPT ATRIC

Posted by: childandfamily

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October is National Physical Therapy Month and we are celebrating with the APTA #choosePT

Each physical therapist on our staff of 6 will share bit of expertise, including Erin Krueger DPT!

Erin is certified by the Aquatic Therapy & Rehab Institute (ATRI).  She offers aquatic therapy at the Harris YMCA and often recommends water as a modailty to improve function and motor skills for children, teens and young adults.   Here’s why:

As a kiddo, there isn‚Äôt much better than being in a pool! Therapists and parents can use that to our advantage when developing gross motor skills!

The water is unique in that it provides multi-planar movement with resistance in every direction. The child receives increased sensory stimulation and proprioceptive awareness, as well as safety during activities such as gait training.

Just moving in the water can increase overall strength and flexibility and affect muscle tone.  By creating activities in the water specific for each child we target upper body, lower body, or core strength as needed.  And let‚Äôs face it ‚Äì moving in the water is way more fun than doing exercises on land!

We also use AquaStretch principles to increase range of motion, reduce fascial and muscular restrictions and improve symmetry throughout the body. It also allows for freedom of movement, which may be restricted on land.

The hydrostatic pressure of the water increases proprioceptive and sensory input which varies with the depth of the water.  This pressure is calming and helps children have more awareness of where their body is with movement patterns. 

Interested in getting your feet wet? Read more about our aquatic therapy services here.

Learn more about Child and Family Development physical therapists on our website and our blog.