I am constantly telling clients to find a pool during rehabilitation to speed up recovery. However hydrotherapy can be just as useful for the healthy individual and you don’t need to get your head wet to feel the benefits! Read below to find out how…
There are several benefits to exercising in water –
Buoyancy: The water supports your weight, therefore there is less strain put on the joints. This can also aid in the development of balance and strength. Perfect for the heavier linemen on a team.
Heart health: You can maintain your level of cardiovascular fitness during injury (if not improve it), when moving through the water. The hydrostatic pressure of the water against the chest wall resists the muscles expanding the chest during breathing. Therefore regular exercise within the water strengthens these muscles, allowing them to expand more efficiently, enabling a greater volume intake of air when performing on the field or within the gym.
Strength gains: Water provides resistance through gentle friction provided by the water, therefore strengthening the skeletal muscle. Holding onto the pool edge and swinging your leg forward and back is one example of this.
Joint range of motion and endurance can be increased without joint pain & strenuous activity due to the buoyancy of the water. Heavier limbs, such as the legs will be easier to lift and hold.
Reduced swelling: Hydrostatic pressure of the water acts as a compression support, encouraging lymphatic drainage from swollen joints and limbs, perfect for post-game recovery!
Eased pain: The warmth and sound of the water can help to relax an individual, decreasing the level of pain.
Exercises can be performed within the pool prior to on-land: This is beneficial for the individual recovering from injury when performing an exercise out of the pool would be too strenuous, such as running due to a sprain/strain.
Who would I recommend it to?
- Injured athletes
- Individuals with osteoarthritis or diabetes
- Healthy individuals
- All ages, shapes and sizes
When is Hydro therapy not appropriate?
It is always worthwhile clearing yourself with a registered professional i.e. Graduate Sports Therapist, Physiotherapist or Doctor prior to partaking in hydro therapy. Those with certain conditions should avoid water therapy such as:
- Wound or skin infections
- Raised temperature
- Breathing difficulties
- Heart conditions
- Kidney problems
- Low or high blood pressure
- Viruses/stomach upset