Hydrotherapy means ‘healing by water’.
Exercise in our Clarence hydrotherapy pool has particular benefits for joints and muscles by:
- Unloading of the weight of the body though the buoyancy of the water reduces stress on joints especially the lower back, hips knees and ankles.
- Heating. The warmth of the water allows for less pain, relaxation and ‘letting go’ of postural muscles to allow for better movement where stiff.
- Compression of the skin with the pressure of the water, particularly when exercising, helps with return of fluid to the heart and reduces oedema.
- Smooth resistance of muscles graded to suit all levels of fitness and swimming ability by varying the speed of movement. Equipment and water depth selection may be used to help increase range of movement, resist movement for strength, to stimulate better balance or a combination of these effects.
- Practical function activities such as balance, walking, squatting and stepping exercises to be performed that may be too difficult to do otherwise. This hopefully will bridge the gap to improving land function too.
It is usually best to have an assessment by our physiotherapist first to ascertain the extent of the problem and its limitations. Home exercises may also be of benefit and of course can be done more frequently. Advice may be given on how to better manage a condition, either to assist with healing, to try prevent recurrence, or to slow down progression.
Sometimes further treatment or hydrotherapy alone may be needed, or treatment may be combined with hydrotherapy to maximise its effect. For example, pre-pool joint mobilisation / exercise may be needed to allow for better movement in the pool or enable the progression of exercises without aggravation.
If safe and appropriate, an individual pool exercise programme may be prescribed to be continued in a group situation, without the need of a one-to-one physiotherapy session, so saving on costs. This is especially useful if it is found that “maintenance” exercises are necessary to control an ongoing problem.
A pool ‘treatment’ session may be described as Aquatic Physiotherapy or Treatment and is charged as a land session, whereas maintenance is described as Hydrotherapy and is charged at a lesser group rate—so benefiting people who are trying to manage chronic, or long term problems.
During the course of treatment it may be necessary to write to your doctor to inform him/her of your progress or outcome.