I do refer patients for follow-up visits for massage therapy, but some of my patients have also asked about water therapy as an additional form of exercise. What is your opinion about that?
Aquatic therapy is absolutely excellent for pregnant patients. If you have a pool in your clinic, you can go to that right away. Oftentimes, that is a great place to start for someone who has severe pain. There is good support for water aerobic exercise for women in pregnancy. It helps with swelling in the extremities. It makes women feel light because on land they feel can heavy. I live in Florida. My first child was born at the end of June. I was a human furnace, and I could not get cold until I submerged in the water.
There are lots of great reasons to recommend aquatic exercise. It is absolutely a great way to go with these patients. It is so important that you make sure that they are drinking a lot of water, because they get dehydrated, and they cannot tell because they are in the water. So, make sure that you are monitoring her fluid intake. Absolutely go for it with your healthy pregnant patients, but when patients have other issues, if there is hypertension or other illnesses, then we need to work very closely with the physician in how we are prescribing and monitoring exercise. But, your healthy pregnant patient with back pain absolutely can get into the pool.