Exploring the Benefits Hydrotherapy

16 Nov, 2023

Discover the potential of Hydrotherapy for individuals dealing with chronic health conditions, exercise limitations, musculoskeletal injuries, balance issues, or looking for weight loss assistance. Explore the benefits of Hydrotherapy, and learn how it can help you with your health goals.

What is Hydrotherapy?

Water-based, therapeutic exercise, typically completed within a heated pool, is most easily defined as hydrotherapy.

A hydrotherapy pool is specifically designed to be heated between 30 and 33 degrees Celsius. Both immediate and lasting therapeutic effects are provided by this temperature. Improved joint mobility, muscle relaxation, and increased blood flow are all benefits of Hydrotherapy which are promoted by the warm water combined with buoyancy.

When trying to recover from an injury or manage chronic health conditions, such as osteoarthritis or persistent pain, hydrotherapy can be very effective.

How can Hydrotherapy help you?

There are four distinctive properties of water that allow water-based exercise to be such a beneficial form of rehabilitation, as well as a therapeutic environment for exercise.

Gen Physio Client standing at edge of pool and smiling, after a Hydrotherapy session

These properties result in a reduced weight-bearing environment which allows for smoother movements with reduced joint loading, and greater overall range of motion for affected joints.

Buoyancy: Buoyancy reduces weight bearing stress on the body, and this is directly proportional to the amount of the body which is submerged below the water surface. Buoyancy allows fluid movement with reduced loading, which can provide a feeling of freedom whilst moving in the pool.

Hydrostatic pressure: This is the pressure exerted by the body of water on an immersed object. That pressure and depth allows the client to perform exercises more easily, however it can result in a loss of body fluid (dehydration) and an increased demand on your cardiovascular system. Therefore, it is very important to complete a risk screening with a therapist prior to commencing a program.

Viscosity & Surface Tension: These properties create resistance to all active movement in water.

Our Physiotherapists can help you to determine what depth of water you should be exercising in based on your functional capacity and diagnosis, in addition to tailoring you a specific, graded, progressive program.

Benefits of Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy can be very effective in treating or managing a range of injuries or chronic health conditions. Due to the buoyancy of the water, hydrotherapy can allow individuals to exercise to an intensity that they cannot on the land. This is particularly helpful for patients with persistent pain, joint degeneration or neurological conditions that cause spasticity or loss of motor function.

Hydrotherapy

Other benefits may include:

  • Increased mobility for individuals with neurological disorders (e.g. Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Motor Neuron Disease etc.)
  • Gait Retraining
  • Increased Cardiovascular Endurance & Health
  • Faster recovery time from surgery, especially knee/hip/ankle replacements
  • Increased Muscle Strength and Endurance
  • Improved Pain Management for a range of chronic health conditions
  • Improved physical activity levels/social interaction and behaviours of children with autism spectrum disorders.

In addition to the physiological benefits, research shows that Hydrotherapy helps reduce depression and anxiety. It has also been found to result in improved quality of life, in some cases more than land-based exercise.

 

Get in contact with our Team today!

Contact our Team today on 1300 122 884 to schedule your initial appointment with one of our Mobile Physiotherapists who can conduct your individual assessment and take the first step towards your Hydrotherapy health journey.

 


References

Batten, M., Stevenson, E., Zimmermann, D., & Isaacs, C. (2017). Implementation of a hydrotherapy protocol to improve postpartum pain management. Journal of midwifery & women’s health, 62(2), 210-214.

Carere, A., & Orr, R. (2016). The impact of hydrotherapy on a patient’s perceived well-being: a critical review of the literature. Physical Therapy Reviews, 21(2), 91-101.

Ellapen, T. J., Hammill, H. V., Swanepoel, M., & Strydom, G. L. (2018). The benefits of hydrotherapy to patients with spinal cord injuries. African Journal of Disability (Online), 7, 1-8.

Sawant, R. S., & Shinde, S. B. (2019). Effect of hydrotherapy based exercises for chronic nonspecific low back pain. Indian J Physiother Occup Ther, 13(1).

Turner, A., Chander, H., & Knight, A. (2018). Falls in geriatric populations and hydrotherapy as an intervention: a brief review. Geriatrics, 3(4), 71.

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