Hydrotherapy is water-based exercise that takes place in a purpose-built heated pool of at least 34degrees. This form of therapy is best commenced and programmed by an experienced Physiotherapist, and luckily for our OHL community, we have a highly experienced hydrotherapy Physiotherapist in Kirsty Tindal! Hydrotherapy can be used to treat, prehabilitate and rehabilitate a large number of musculoskeletal conditions, but one of the most successful and popular conditions getting great benefit from the water is osteoarthritis.
Many types of exercise are safe for osteoarthritis (ie. they will not make your osteoarthritis worse), but one of the large benefits to hydrotherapy is that osteoarthritis sufferers tend to leave the pool with less pain and more mobility, yet still achieved a good workout. Furthermore, exercising in warm water has the added benefits of buoyancy providing support and reducing the compressive loading on your joints, plus the warmth of the water assisting with flexibility of soft tissues. All these great factors can make exercising less painful.
Exercise in water can be graded to be a gentle or vigorous. A physiotherapist can prescribe specific exercises to use the water to assist or resist a movement to allow you to achieve specific goals such as increasing mobility of a joint or strengthening a specific muscle. It can also be used as a medium to challenge or increase cardiovascular fitness (like running) with the buoyancy reducing the compressive loading in the joints, but the resistance of the water increasing effort and elevating heart rate for cardiovascular benefits.
So many benefits to the water-based exercise – why not incorporate this form of exercise in your osteoarthritis care or getting fit regime? If you’d like to know more, please reach out to our Physiotherapy team and we can discuss options of how to facilitate best hydrotherapy programming for you!
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