Welcome to FJS Rehabilitation

The Science of Water Rehabilitation

The interest in using water as rehabilitation developed through reading scientific articles on space medicine. The impact of no gravity on bodies that are designed to work in gravity, repeatedly showed physiological changes, in the medical studies.  The water seems to be a place where you take a break from gravity without the deleterious effects of weightlessness.

In shoulder deep water you weigh approximately 10% of your body weight.  So if you weigh 150 pounds on land, you will weigh fifteen pounds in the water.  This has significant implications for rehabilitation as all movement becomes significantly easier in the water. Joints and muscles are less susceptible to jolting motions often experienced on land.  Combined with a thorough knowledge of bio-physics and pathophysiology, applying the scientific principles of water provides  an excellent medium for rehabilitation.

All these principles come together when performing a certain movement in the water.  Use the hand as an example. With an outstretched arm at your side, in neck deep water, the resistance to movement downward will be significantly higher with an open palm, and fingers together than with a closed fist.

Basically, what this means is that when you are in water you weigh less. When your limbs weigh less, it is easier to complete a movement that you may not be able to complete on land.  This enables you to get stronger without significant increases in pain.

How do the properties of water affect the body?
Buoyancy – a body is buoyant in water when its weight is reduced by the weight of the water it displaces.

Resistance – water provides twelve times more resistance than air. Therefore muscles have to work harder, but without the impact of gravity, so the exercise is actually easier.

Hydrostatic Pressure – this is an inverse relationship, meaning the deeper you are in the water, the greater the pressure exerted on your body.

The center of buoyancy is the point in ones body where it floats to the surface of the water, whereas the center of mass is related to where the body has the greatest density.  Each of these centers varies from person to person, and can be changed with the addition of flotation devices.