Water-based rehabilitation, otherwise known as Hydrotherapy, is a therapeutic treatment often offered by physiotherapists to manage musculoskeletal conditions and injuries. In fact, at Spinal and Sports Care, our expertly trained physiotherapists from the Castle Hill, Wetherill Park and Parramatta clinics may even suggest Hydrotherapy treatments as a part of a holistic plan to manage your condition. But what is Hydrotherapy and what are the benefits of this non-surgical and non-invasive treatment option?
What are the benefits of Hydrotherapy?
For many individuals who suffer ongoing pain, chronic illnesses or are recovering from injuries, discomfort associated with the condition can force patients into prolonged periods of rest where movement is minimal. This can be potentially detrimental, leading to muscle atrophy or reduction in strength or range of movement making even simple daily tasks much more difficult.
However, Hydrotherapy (also known as aquatic therapy) uses warm water pools or tanks to create a weightless environment, encouraging improved movements that may not be possible on land. As water is buoyant, gravitational force is reduced, resulting in minimal stress on the body and its weight-bearing joints. With reduced stress, pain is also minimised allowing patients to easily perform movements that may be too excruciating out of the water.
Improved movement and mobility, along with the resistance effects of water also provides an ideal opportunity to strengthen weakened muscles and improve muscle elasticity. The hydrostatic pressure of water also promotes circulation, allowing for vital oxygen and nutrients to be supplied to the muscles to promote healing and recovery, and minimised swelling that is commonly experienced with various musculoskeletal injuries and conditions.
Furthermore, Hydrotherapy sessions are generally conducted in warm pools or specially made tanks heated at approximately 33 degrees Celsius. When the body is immersed in warm water, muscles are able to relax as opposed to muscle tension experienced when the body is cold. Not only is the warm water therapeutic, it helps improve muscle elasticity, allowing the muscles to be easily stretched through various exercises in a less painful way.
Who is Hydrotherapy suitable for?
At Spinal and Sports Care, our Castle Hill, Wetherill Park and Parramatta based physiotherapists prescribe Hydrotherapy treatments to a vast array of patients suffering a multitude of conditions. Evidence shows that physiotherapy treatments such as Hydrotherapy are an effective pain relief option for patients suffering from chronic back pain, shoulder pain, Rheumatoid arthritis and Osteoarthritis. Hydrotherapy has proven to be effective for post-operative rehabilitation, particularly for individuals who had joint replacements, tendon repair and orthopaedic surgeries. Evidence also suggests that hydrotherapy is beneficial prior to surgery in order to strengthen the muscles and stimulate a quicker recovery.
Our physiotherapists also recommend Hydrotherapy sessions to individuals who may be suffering from neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, strokes, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy or other conditions that may affect balance and coordination.
Hydrotherapy as a physiotherapy treatment may also be prescribed for a vast range of injuries, including sports-related injuries, overuse injuries, and those that affect the brain and spinal cord.
Although Hydrotherapy treatment occurs in water environments, patients are not required to have the ability to swim. Hydrotherapy sessions are typically directed by experienced physiotherapists and utilise functional devices such as hydraulic chairs and handrails t provide assistance of getting in and out of the pool. Aquatic floatation devices may also be used to provide support and independence in the pool and also may be used in various exercises to increase resistance.
Catering to a wide variety of conditions, Hydrotherapy is suitable for patients of all ages under the guidance of trained physiotherapists. However, patients with diabetes or heart-related conditions should seek advice from their GP prior to beginning Hydrotherapy treatments.
At Spinal and Sports Care, our passionate physiotherapy team located at Castle Hill, Wetherill Park and Parramatta are dedicated to providing effective treatments to manage a variety of conditions and injuries. Hydrotherapy is one of many physiotherapy treatments our team may prescribe to patients to alleviate pain, encourage mobility and increase strength. For more information on Hydrotherapy treatments or how physiotherapy can provide relief from pain, do not hesitate to call our team (02) 9683 1110. Alternatively, you can book an appointment online at your local clinic.