Positive Points of Hydrotherapy (Aquatic Therapy)
Hydrotherapy, or Aquatic Physiotherapy, is physiotherapy that is practised in warm water. Hydrotherapy is very beneficial and can help relieve aches and pains, mobilise stiff joints and strengthen weak muscles, as well as enhance a feeling of well-being.
Hydrotherapy being practised with a client should be overseen by a Chartered Physiotherapist to ensure that procedures and practices are being adhered to correctly.
The exercises are tailored to meet the individual’s needs, meaning it is a very adaptable form of treatment. It is useful for those with physically restrictive conditions that make exercising difficult, such as arthritis or neurological conditions, or for those undergoing rehabilitation.
Whenever you are having hydrotherapy treatment a health screening tool must be used to ensure you will not experience any harm as a result. This would happen prior to you entering the warm water.
Hydrotherapy is used as a form of treatment due to the many benefits of exercising in warm water. These benefits allow a person to experience forms of exercise and movement that they wouldn’t be able to do out of the warm water. It is not just the water that makes this treatment beneficial, but the temperature of it. Amongst the benefits of hydrotherapy are:
- Relief of pain and muscle spasm
The water supports the weight of your body and limbs making it easier to move them. The warm temperature of the water relieves muscle spasm allowing relaxation and increased movement.
- Muscle strengthening
water provides resistance, or assistance, to the movement depending on your position, speed of movement and the exercises being carried out.
The warm temperature of the water, usually between 32 – 35oC, helps your muscles work more efficiently as warm muscles work better than cold ones.
- Improved blood flow
The warm water opens the blood vessels allowing increased blood flow around the body. The body is then working more effectively, which in turn allows for greater range of movement.
Improve balance and co-ordination
In water you can maintain and improve balance, co-ordination, walking and posture that may have been impaired due to injury, pain, surgery or general age-related deterioration.
The buoyancy created by the water helps to support the body whilst exercising and the constant movement of water creates turbulence which can be used to challenge balance.
- Reduction of muscle tone
The warm water helps muscles to relax and the buoyancy of the water helps support the weight of the body. This is especially useful for people with neurological conditions who struggle with maintaining their body upright against gravity.
When you can move better, relax and experience a reduction in pain your mood can be lifted dramatically, and you can feel good. Being immersed in warm water can help us feel supported and comfortable. Some hydrotherapy pools have coloured lights or relaxing music to enhance this feeling of calm and wellbeing.
As beneficial as hydrotherapy can be for some people, it may not be suitable for all and your physiotherapist will be able to advise you further on this matter.
Currently Positive Positioning practice hydrotherapy at Armley Leisure Centre and Holt Park Active, where we also deliver training to Leeds Adult Care staff.
If you would like to know more as you think this may be appropriate for you or someone you know, please contact Positive Positioning on 0845 1162083 or email [email protected]