What is Hydrotherapy?
Aquatic therapy, commonly known as hydrotherapy is the use of exercise within water to treat a wide spectrum of conditions. These include general joint pain, low back pain, pain related to arthritis, orthopaedic conditions, sports injuries, treatment post elective orthopaedic surgeries such as hip and knee replacements and many more. Typically, hydrotherapy takes place in a heated pool however the warm of the pool doesn’t change the benefits of being in the water.
What are the benefits of hydrotherapy?
Decrease load on joints
Being submerged in the water decreases the effect of gravity on your joints and muscles, therefore hydrotherapy gives us a window to exercise when exercise on land is too painful or not indicated.
Being in the water allows exercises to be less strenuous and focus on controlled, guided and pain free movement. The resistance provided by the water itself helps muscles work harder. Exercises can me progressed by increasing the speed of movement or by increasing the surface are by introducing various special forms of floats.
Feel good factor
It can be frustrating not being able to exercises due to pain, weight baring limitations or due to general deconditioning. The unique properties of water are used in the treatment of process, it enables the person in the pool to carry out exercises which are usually very difficult to carry out on land given that the body feels much lighter in the water. This in turn allows us to assist and improve quality of movement of stiff weak joints.
Currents and eddies in the water contribute to providing an unstable environment which in itself helps to strengthening muscles in the body. The turbulence also provides resistance when completing an exercise and can be reduced or increased with the use of floats.
Improve balance and decrease risk of falls
Water is a moving body and with all the above mentioned, it can be a very useful tool to challenge and retrain balance which can be lost following surgery.