Physio with a Hydrotherapy Pool
Have you ever experienced a good feeling after being in a warm bath or a spa? If so, you have experienced the effects of aquatic physio, also called hydrotherapy!
The name Hydrotherapy is a general term and describes any therapy in warm water. Hydrotherapy has been used for thousands of years by people all around the world to help improve their health. However, hydrotherapy can mean a lot of different things to different people. Hence it is important to know what we mean when we describe Aquatic Physio – For us, it means physio with the use of a hydrotherapy pool.
Doing your physio with a hydrotherapy pool can have a lot of additional benefits compared to exercises out of the water. Aquatic physio can be less painful, movements can be easier and specific positive effects can be achieved due to immersion and the support of warm water. Pool exercises for the elderly can be particularly effective but just about anyone can benefit.
Physiotherapists now refer to physio with the use of a hydrotherapy pool as ‘Aquatic Physio” to distinguish their profession and what they do with clients from others, who may use the term ‘hydrotherapy’ in a different setting. Colonic washouts, for example, are also often referred to as hydrotherapy, and physiotherapists definitely don’t do that.
That said, most people referring to physio with hydrotherapy pool would call it hydrotherapy.
Aquatic Physio (hydrotherapy) involves rehabilitation in warm water, usually 32-34 degrees Celsius, and a specific set of therapy techniques and exercises using the unique properties and benefits of water. Physiotherapists with a special interest in hydrotherapy can undergo further training in aquatic physiotherapy after graduating to become Aquatic Physios. Aquatic Physios use hydrotherapy pools, specially designed for rehabilitation, or heated pools (not specially designed, and sometimes not as warm i.e. 26 degrees) as a medium for rehabilitation. Hydrotherapy can be just as effective as treatment on land, often with less discomfort.
Aquatic Physio is not the same as swimming or aqua aerobics, nor is it just the walking up and down in a pool. It is specific therapy/rehabilitation in water by trained professionals.
Hydrotherapy is continuously advancing and so is the research into this modality! There is a huge amount of equipment that can be used in the pool with physio clients to achieve exceptional results.
Hydrotherapy can be particularly effective for many conditions that cause pain or loss of range of motion and strength. However, it can be beneficial to help with just about any condition, as you can see from the list below.
- Pool exercises for the elderly
- Knee pain
- Lower back pain
- Neurological conditions
- Pre- and post-surgery
- Disabilities -Particularly effective for those clients seen under NDIS such as children and under 65-year-olds with disabilities
- Prenatal and antenatal treatment
- Sporting injuries
Research has shown that Hydrotherapy and being immersed in warm water can provide the benefits listed below. This is not an exhaustive list, however, the benefits listed are those most important when focusing on pool exercises for the elderly.
Twenty benefits of Hydrotherapy
- Easier to move and mobilise in warm water
- Increases muscle tone and decreases spasm
- Improves circulation and removes inflammatory mediators and lactic acid more quickly
- Decreases swelling
- Improved flexibility and range of motion in water
- Less weight and load through joints
- Decreased pain due to decreased sensitivity of pain receptors
- Improved muscle strength
- Improved posture
- Improved co-ordination and balance. This can help reduce falls in the elderly.
- Improved cardiovascular fitness and endurance
- Improved water confidence
- Can improve efficiency of your heart
- Can lead to lower blood sugar levels
- Can increase metabolic activity which can lead to weight loss
- Movement in water is oftern less painful and easier for patients than exercise and treatment on land
- Can assist in improving bone density through the contraction of muscles and the ability to take different levels of weight bearing that may not be tolerated on land (i.e. crush fractures)
- Releases endorphins and decreases anxiety/stress
- Makes you feel good due to all of the above!
Most physiotherapy techniques used on land can also be used in water, often with less discomfort!
A lot of people can benefit from doing their physio with a hydrotherapy pool. We can help just about anyone get in the pool and experience the benefits.
If you have any questions about aquatic physio or would like to try it, please contact us and one of our friendly staff members will be happy to assist.