Benefits of hydrotherapy
Benefits of Hydrotherapy
Research has shown that Hydrotherapy and being immersed in warm water can provide (among others) these twenty benefits:
Twenty benefits of Hydrotherapy
1. Easier to move (generally and specific joints) in warm water -This is why hydrotherapy has been around for thousands of years
2. Increases muscle tone and decreases spasm -The warm water is the main factor here, its like being surrounded by hotpacks!
3. Improves circulation and removes inflammatory mediators and lactic acid -Hence why you’ll see sportspeople doing recovery sessions in water
4. Decreased swelling -I’ve had clients with lymphoedema with a third less leg volume after being in the water
5. Improved flexibility and range of motion in water -anyone who has had a knee replacement struggling to get bend outside will tell you this
6. Less weight and load through joints -This is particularly useful for those struggling with weight outside of the pool due to arthritis, and also useful for those who have had a fracture and are not allowed to take too much weight on outside but can in the hydrotherapy pool
7. Decreased pain, decreased sensitivity of pain receptors -Very beneficial for any chronic pain condition, particularly beneficial in conditions such as fibromyalgia
8. Relaxation -Endorphins, natures feel good hormone are released when you are in warm water
9. Improved muscle strength -Water can either assist or resist movement, you can still work quite hard in the water
10. Improved posture – Just moving around in the water is fantastic for using your core muscles, even more so when specific exercises targeting these postural powerhouse muscles are targeted.
11. Improved co-ordination and balance -A lot of research has shown reduced risk of falls especially in older populations using hydrotherapy pools. Someone worried about falling outside of the water knows they are safer in the water, and water based balance and co-ordination exercise is very effective.
12. Can improve cardiovascular fitness and endurance – Deep water running is especially good for CV fitness. I’ve had triathletes who have found they increased their fitness doing deep water running while being unable to train out of the water.
13. Improved water confidence – Hydrotherapy pools specially designed have variable depth so you can get used to exercising in shallower water holding on to the side and gradually build your confidence in the water..
14. Improved efficiency of your heart, lower blood sugar levels and increase metabolic activity – This is why hydrotherapy is often done in cardiac rehabilitation. I have successfully used hydrotherapy with inpatient clients with diabetes who actually went off their insulin.
15. Is often less painful/easier to move for patients than exercise and treatment on land- Again anyone who has had a knee replacement will tell you this. Hydrotherapy is generally far easier for people who are having difficulty exercising out of the water and most physiotherapy techniques used out of the pool can be used in the pool (as well as some in the pool that have no land-based equivalent)
16. Can assist in improving bone density -This occurs through the contraction of muscles and ability to take different levels of weight bearing that may not be tolerated on land (i.e. crush fractures)
17. Can lower blood sugar levels and lose weight – A study in New England Journal Medicine found long lasting benefit to blood sugar levels following immersion in warm water, long after the hydrotherapy had been finished.
18. Can increase metabolic activity – Mainly from exercise but also from the warm water immersion.
19. Relieves pain -Endorphins are also a pain reliever. You release them just being in warm water, but also when exercising.
20. Makes you feel good due to all of the above! Stress and anxiety melt away in the warm water.
I’ve been doing hydrotherapy for over 15 years and I still feel great when I first walk down into the hydrotherapy pool and feel the warm water on my muscles and joints.
Now doesn’t your body deserve at least one of these twenty benefits?