Water is a medium with analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and relaxing properties. Learn about the benefits of hydrotherapy as a rehabilitation method.
Hydrotherapy has become another therapeutic option used by healthcare professionals. The benefits of hydrotherapy are very important and very good for the treatment of some diseases.
We’ll explain exactly what this technique is based on and what are its most important benefits. This way, you will know what to expect when an injury situation occurs.
What does hydrotherapy consist of?
As the name suggests, hydrotherapy is based on the use of water as a means of rehabilitation. Specifically, the patient places himself in a pool and performs various exercises and movements depending on the pathology.
Since the body is in water, the first thing to consider to understand the benefits of hydrotherapy is the conditions to work in this environment.
The temperature of the water should be taken into account. It is important that the temperature is pleasant for the patient, ideally, neither cold nor too hot, the water should be warm.
On the other hand, we work with hydrostatic pressure, which is the pressure or force that water exerts on all parts of the submerged body.
Likewise, the weightlessness effect is essential. We all know that the weight is reduced in water. Some of the gravity effects are eliminated and therefore the pressure applied to joints and other areas is reduced.
There are other hydrotherapy methods, such as the douching method. In these cases, the goal is to move through a specific area through relaxation, usually by applying some type of massage with hot water or to promote circulation with showers that also switch from cold to hot water several times.
Below, we’ll talk about the benefits of hydrotherapy, which is based on submerging and running a large part of the body, as explained in a publication in the journal Physiotherapy. You will realize that this is a really suitable technique.
Benefits of hydrotherapy
We have already described the type of hydrotherapy in detail and we know the main conditions favorable in water. Therefore, we will see what positive effects it has on a patient’s rehabilitation.
- First of all, we should talk about temperature. Keeping the body at a suitable temperature supports muscle flexibility and relaxation. Therefore, the first benefit is that the muscles are in a good condition to work.
- The second point is hydrostatic pressure. This situation applies a kind of small massage to the cells. As it moves, the amount of pressure on the different structures changes so that they are massaged in some form. This effect will also help reduce swelling and reabsorb bruising.
- The third positive part is the water-resistance to movement. This resistance allows the body’s large muscle groups to work only by walking. When we make any movement in the water, we spend more power than we do in the terrestrial environment. This can be noticed when we swim.
- Fourth is the fact that a healthcare professional can assist us in all situations. It means it can offer resistance from below, above, behind, or from a specific limb, among other alternatives.
In the pool, it will be easier for the professional to move around the patient and do his job. Also, if relaxation is sought, there are hydrotherapy techniques in which the professional holds the patient under the knees and under the neck and moves them from side to side rhythmically.
Since this feature has good and bad parts, we will open a separate section. Essentially, the weightlessness of water does not put pressure on joints and does not force us to make an effort to stay upright or maintain good posture.
Generally, when we recover from a traumatic injury, this is positive because we must train our muscles before we can bear weight. Water is perfect for this because we can do extensive active and passive movements without sacrificing the joint.
However, this pressure we normally experience is what keeps the joint capsules working, synovial fluid is regenerated, old bone cells are reabsorbed, and new ones are released. In other words, there are a bunch of elements that don’t work in water.
Therefore, in the case of an injury in which the joints are not damaged and are desired to return to normal life before, the specialist will probably choose other alternatives to hydrotherapy.
When we look at hydrotherapy in general, we see five main benefits. As a study published in the journal Medicine Naturista explains, if you have had knee or hip surgery or have spinal compression problems, performing water rehabilitation will be very helpful.
In short, if the professional sees that it’s a good option for you, don’t hesitate and enjoy it. Hydrotherapy will be one of the funniest parts of rehabilitation!