Hi! Melinda Weaver, exercise physiologist, gives us an insight into Hydrotherapy applications.
HYDROTHERAPY and how it can help you. OUCH! OUCH! OUCH! Joint pain? Arthritis? Lower back pain? Post surgery? Chronic pain? What do these conditions all have in common you ask? They all benefit from hydrotherapy!
The principal characteristics of these conditions are that we need to maintain (or improve) movement through a joint, without experiencing increased joint loading. This can be achieved in water.
So what happens to our body when submerged in water? Does it have the same benefits of exercising on land? These are all the questions we get asked as health professionals. Let’s keep it simple. A lot of good things happen to our body when in water and yes, the effects are beneficial.
The good things:
1) Increased cardiac function
2) Decreased blood pressure
3) Increased Respiratory rate
4) Increase in body temperature
1) Reduce risk of injury or re-injury during rehabilitation
2) Facilitate range of motion (ROM) exercise
3) Initiate resistance training
4) Facilitate weight bearing activities
Let’s take a look at a client which we prescribed a water based program to achieve these ‘effects’. 74 year old woman, let’s call her Mary. Mary is 6 weeks post Total Knee Replacement (TKR). Put simply but adequately, our knee can flex (bend) and extend (straighten). Prior to our water based rehabilitation program Mary was only able to achieve 74 degrees during knee flexion (bend). Following our program which focused on primary movements of her lower limb through water walking, knee flexion and extension with foam noodles, hip adduction and abduction (just to mention a few), we were able to increase Mary’s knee flexion to 110 degrees.
Hydrotherapy is not an endpoint in Mary’s treatment, it’s a transitional phase in returning her to full functional movements.
For more information on Hydrotherapy and how Melinda could help you, please contact Melinda Weaver-Exercise Physiologist at,
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