Hydrotherapy

The term “Hydrotherapy” is derived from the Greek words “Hydro” meaning water, and “Therapia” meaning healing. Modern day Hydrotherapy, sometimes called aquatic therapy, is the use of water, normally in a heated pool, to assist with a therapeutic exercise program. Hydrotherapy uses the properties of water, and the principles of temperature, buoyancy, turbulence and drag during exercise to help each individual patient work towards their goals.

Hydrotherapy is an excellent alternative to conventional land based exercise but particularly for individuals who are in the early stages of rehabilitation post op, lack confidence, have high risk of falling, or have joint pain.

The water buoyancy reduces the weight that joints, bones, and muscles have to bear (allowing an earlier return to weight bearing), while water resistance can be used to increase strength benefits. The warmth and pressure of the water decreases swelling, reduces load on painful joints and promotes muscle relaxation. Hydrotherapy also has significant effects on pain relief meaning patients may become more active and improve their quality of life as a result of a hydrotherapy program.

 

There are many physiological effects of hydrotherapy on the body including reduced aches and pains (through desensitisation of free nerve endings), increased flexibility, muscle strength & endurance, general fitness improvements, balance improvements, reduced falls risk, increased endorphin release and increased blood flow. This increase in blood flow has 2 important effects

  1. more efficient oxygenation of tissues, helping injuries heal faster, and

  2. more efficient removal of toxins from tissue, which helps reduce inflammation & prevent or ease injuries.

 

Because of these positive effects, hydrotherapy is a useful tool in the treatment and management of many conditions including:

  • Post Surgical Rehabilitation

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Rheumatological conditions (RA, JIA, Gout, Pseudogout)

  • Osteoporosis

  • Lower Back & Pelvic Pain

  • Chronic Pain Conditions

  • Falls prevention

  • Shoulder / Upper Limb Rehab

  • Hip, Knee & Ankle Injuries

  • Balance & Coordination Issues

  • Reduced mobility

  • Sports Injury Rehab

  • Fracture Rehab

  • Ankylosing Spondylitis

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Neurological Conditions (including stroke rehabilitation)

  • Cardiovascular Fitness

  • And any other problem where conventional land based exercise is difficult or painful

 

Hydrotherapy is significantly different from conventional swimming and aquaerobics; focusing on targeted, controlled exercises, in a safe, comfortable and enjoyable environment.

 

All of our physiotherapists are experienced in the prescription and progression of hydrotherapy exercise programs for all different levels across a broad range of conditions. Once you are safe completing your program independently, this can be carried out in your pool at home, at the aquatic centre or alternatively using one of the specialised Hydrotread rehabilitation pools we have in our Mandurah clinic that offer many other benefits.

 

While there are numerous positive benefits of hydrotherapy, because of the effects on some of the other systems of the body, there are some contraindications. To see if a hydrotherapy program would be suitable for you please call today to speak to one of our team.

© 2019 by 4 Life Physiotherapy