Hydrotherapy is a fully supervised exercise programme set and supervised by our Exercise Physiologist in specially designed warm water pools. The warm water and weightless effect of being submersed means that even very painful conditions can be exercised effectively.
Hydrotherapy offers many benefits to a large variety of people. It is very suitable for rehabilitation following injury or surgery, for arthritis sufferers or for general spinal pain and stiffness. Fit and healthy people looking to improve their core strength or just maintain their activity levels find hydrotherapy very beneficial.
How Does Hydrotherapy Work?
The healing properties of hydrotherapy are based on its mechanical and/or thermal effects. It makes use of the body’s reaction to hot and cold stimuli, to the protracted application of heat, to the pressure exerted by the water, and to the sensation of the water itself. Nerves carry what is felt by the skin deeper into the body, where it is then vital in stimulating the immune system, influencing the production of stress hormones, improving circulation and digestion, encouraging the flow of blood, and lessening the body’s sensitivity to pain.
Generally speaking, heat is used to quiet and soothe the body, and to slow down the activity of internal organs. Cold is used to stimulate and invigorate, increasing internal activity within the body. If you are experiencing tense muscles or anxiety, heat is recommended in the shower or bath. For feeling tired and stressed out, it is recommended to take a warm shower or bath followed by a short cold shower to help stimulate the body and mind.
When submerged in a body of water such as a bath or a pool, there is a kind of weightlessness, as the water relieves your body of much of the effects of gravity. Water also has a hydrostatic effect and has a massage-like feeling as the water gently kneads your body. Water, when it is moving, stimulates the touch receptors on the skin, increasing blood circulation and releasing tight muscles.
What are the therapeutic benefits of Hydrotherapy & exercise in warm water?
- Muscular relaxation and decreased muscle spasm.
- Decreased pain due to warmth and support.
- Gravity is countered by buoyancy.
- Increased muscle strength and endurance due to the greater resistance in water.
- Improvement in swelling, due to hydrostatic pressure.
- Enhanced balance and stabilisation.
- Improved enjoyment and confidence to move better.
Some of the many conditions that can benefit from an individualised Aquatic Physiotherapy program include:
- Back pain/sciatica/ lumbar instability
- Whiplash & other neck pain
- Sports injuries
- Balance/coordination problems
- Shoulder and arm pain
- Rheumatoid Arthritis & Fibromyalgia
- Ankylosing Spondylitis
- Parkinson’s Disease & stroke
- Cerebral Palsy
- Back and pelvic pain during pregnancy
- Work and accident related injuries
- Rehabilitation after bone fractures, joint replacement or tendon repair
You can contact Sydney Physios and Allied Health Services for more information and to discuss with us how a hydrotherapy program can help you.