What in the World Is Hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy is a form of water-based rehabilitation which has been utilized by Physiotherapists for a number of years to assist patients in getting back to peak physical condition. Hydrotherapy allows for patients to begin improving on both their range of movement and strength by using the buoyancy and the resistance of the water within the hydrotherapy pool. Both the depth and the temperature of the water can be altered and manipulated to achieve each patient’s desired outcomes and provide optimal comfort levels.
During submersion in water approximately 90% of the patient’s body weight is supported allowing each patient to perform movements and exercises that they may otherwise be unable to perform on land. The reduction in stress and loading on the ligaments, joints, muscles and tendons of the body, coupled with a warm, buoyant environment allows the joints to be moved through their range in a non-threatening way, reducing the risk of flaring pain.
The benefits of hydrotherapy however do not stop there. Whilst standing submerged in water, the pressure of the water (also known as hydrostatic pressure) promotes an increase in the blood flow from our body, back to our heart. The result of this hydrostatic pressure and improved blood flow is a decreased heart rate and reduced blood pressure due to the body not having to work so hard to pump blood around. This then allows for patients to attempt exercises that they would otherwise be unable to perform on land, due to a reduced strain on the heart and body.
Hydrotherapy pools generally range in temperature from between 30-35* Celsius and can be altered based on the needs of the patients whom are in the water. Pre-natal hydrotherapy (hydrotherapy during pregnancy) for example, requires a temperature of approx. 30-32* Celsius to achieve the best musculoskeletal outcomes whilst remaining a safe temperature for Mum and baby. Orthopaedic patients however can tolerate higher temperatures such as 33-34* Celsius which allows for increased comfort and therefore longer rehabilitation sessions.
One of the fantastic qualities that water offers is the ability to use water as a resistance against the body. Water has a resistance of between 4-42 times greater when compared with air. The resistance of the water is dependent upon how fast a patient moves through that water, the faster a patient moves, the greater the resistance we are working against. This concept of resistance is key for hydrotherapy as it enables each patient to work within their own comfort level. Simply by increasing the speed of each exercise, the resistance automatically increases, making the exercise more difficult. Alternatively, if an exercise is too difficult, doing it at a slow speed automatically reduces the resistance, making it easier.
The list of injuries and conditions which can be improved with hydrotherapy is endless, however a short list of such injuries is below.
- Orthopaedic Joint Replacements (Total Hip Replacement, Total Knee Replacement)
- Orthopaedic Surgeries (Arthroscopic knee surgery, ACL reconstructions)
- Orthopaedic shoulder surgeries
- Lower back pain
- Soft tissue injuries (muscle tears and sporting injuries)
- Balance impairments
- General health and fitness
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Upper back and neck pain
- Cardiovascular fitness
- Weight loss and maintenance
- Many, many more
Here at Lifeline Physiotherapy we are thrilled to provide specialised 1:1 hydrotherapy sessions to assist each of our patient’s in achieving their rehabilitation goals whether it be recovering from an orthopaedic operation or simply wanting to improve on general fitness and wellbeing. Our hydrotherapy programs are made specific to each individual and are tailored to the impairments that each patient presents with- no generic exercise programs here!
For further information on our Hydrotherapy programs, please contact us on 9306 9266 or pop in to Lifeline Physiotherapy on Wanneroo Road to have a chat.
- Post-Operative Care
- So, you have just had surgery and are unsure what is to be done next. It is definitely the right time for you to call us and seek information. Surgery is just the first step and we will follow through by ensuring you regain normal function.Our physiotherapists are trained in giving you the right treatment for you to achieve full recovery post-surgery.
- Corporate Health
- Sitting is the new smoking. Sitting for more than a couple of hours a day can affect your posture, mood, lifestyle and health.We at lifeline Physiotherapy will give you a thorough insight of how to setup your desk i.e.: ergonomic setup. We can recommend either a stand-up desk or other options for your employer to assist you with.
- Gym Rehabilitation Programs
- Exercises are commonly used to address nerve, joint, muscle or ligament issues and we are experts at this. We have the right knowledge to assist with the biomechanics of your body and give you appropriate exercises for injury prevention.
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Whiplash Associated Disorders commonly take place following a motor vehicle crash. This occurs due to the sudden forces of acceleration and deceleration being placed on the spine.Lifeline Physiotherapy understand the repercussions following such an injury and encourages you to come see us to protect further symptoms. We are well aware of the management and treatment required and will go the extra mile to assist you with recovery.
- Dry Needling
- Often you will find that massage doesn't cut it and minutes later you are tight or stiff again. Dry needling is a good option to release tight trigger points, increase blood flow into the area promoting healing.Dry needling can be used to increase muscle length and function, ease pain and reduce swelling
- Pilates incorporates low impact exercises for all ages and levels of fitness. It is used to strengthen the core and stabilize the spine. These exercises are gentle and focus on spinal articulation, breathing and stability.
- Sports Physiotherapy
- Our physiotherapists have extensive knowledge on injuries that can arise while playing sport. Our practice principal has been involved in many sporting clubs such as Ingelwood uniter and Balcatta Soccer Club. Athletes and those who love to be active put extreme demand and stress on their bodies, in particular their muscles and joints and sports physiotherapy can help deal with pain, improve performance and function and prevent future damage and injuries.Sports physiotherapy may include a customised gym rehabilitation program, hands-on treatment, taping and exercise and stretch prescription.
- Geriatric Care
- At Lifeline physiotherapy, we provide specialized treatments for seniors as we understand what a toll it can take on you with joint replacements, or having to deal with osteoporosis or osteoarthritis.The aim for geriatric care it to address your needs whether it be improving your sleep or mobility to reducing your pain and discomfort. We understand ailments you can have as you age and are passionate about helping you with them.