Aquatic Physiotherapy a.k.a Hydrotherapy- What can it do for me?
June 15, 2015
Aquatic Physiotherapy a.k.a Hydrotherapy- What can it do for me?

Aquatherapy (Water-based exercise therapy) has been around for centuries and it is an excellent form of therapy for you to recover from an injury and to get fitter. Exercise is preventative medical maintenance that can begin paying off immediately.

Aquatherapy utilises the principles of hydrostatics and hydrodynamics to create challenges that promote health through exercising in water. Hydrotherapy is usually conducted in water of temperature 35°C-37°C. The benefits of aquatic exercise are thought to result from the water’s unique characteristics including warmth that reduces pain and muscle spasm, buoyancy that decreases loading of joints, resistance to movement through turbulence and hydrostatic pressure, and the equal pressure from all directions applied to an immersed object at a given depth. The unique characteristics of exercising in water may allow people to perform exercises that they would be unable to perform on land.

Studies have shown that addition of regular exercises to a person’s lifestyle will benefit all body systems, including the musculoskeletal, cardiorespiratory, circulatory systems. These benefits applies to Aquatherapy as well.

Circulatory system:

Immersion in water and exercise increases the blood supply to muscle tissues and vasodilates the blood vessels. Individuals with muscle spasms and injuries will benefit tremendously.

Cardiorespiratory system:

Water provides an excellent medium for performing cardiorespiratory exercises as more demanding exercises can be achieved with lower cardiac cost.

Musculoskeletal system:

Flexibility can be enhanced as a greater range of movement can be worked through during Aquatherapy. The buoyancy and the warmth of the water allows for generalised muscular relaxation and decreased pain experienced in the water. Hence, gentle stretching of soft tissue is often more comfortable and effective in water than on land. Aquatherapy also helps to improve coordination, balance, trunk and head stability and alignment.

Strength and Endurance:

Water is 6-15 times more resistant than air. Exercising in the water allows for muscular endurance to be enhanced as muscles has to work harder against the resistance of the water. Strength is increased if muscles are worked against the water at a rate that causes maximal muscular output.

Muscular fatigue takes longer to achieve in water due to the lack of gravity and the constant shift in work or energy output from one muscle to another in each muscle pair.

The support that the water provides during the therapy allowing the intensity of the workout to be reduced, hence allowing one to exercise longer at a lower intensity and achieving greater calories burnt.

With all these wonderful benefits awaiting, hurry and get changed into your bathers and join in for a great session of Aquatherapy with us!

Call us at 03 8759 1623 for futher enquires.

References:

Garber CE, Blissmer B, Deschenes MR, Franklin BA, Lamonte MJ, Lee IM, Nieman DC, Swain DP, (2011). American College of Sports Medicine. American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, and neuromotor fitness in apparently healthy adults: guidance for prescribing exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 43(7), 1334-1359. doi:10.1249/mss.0b013e318213fefb. PMID: 21694556.

Hagen, K. B., Dagfinrud, H., Moe, R., Osteras, N., Kjeken, I., Grotle, M., & Smedslund, G. (2012). Exercise therapy for bone and muscle health: an overview of systematic reviews. BMC Medicine, 10(1), 167.

Batterham, S., Heywood, S., & Keating, J. (2011). Systematic review and meta-analysis comparing land and aquatic exercise for people with hip or knee arthritis on function, mobility and other health outcomes. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 12(1), 123.