Hydrotherapy refers to water exercises that are performed in a heated pool. Hydrotherapy pools provide a comfortable and safe environment in which patients with muscle, joint, or bone diseases can exercise effectively.
Hydrotherapy is particularly helpful for those suffering from osteoporosis or arthritis as increased resistance from the water adds intensity to the exercises while the water’s buoyancy supports the body and reduces impact.
How can hydrotherapy benefit osteoporosis and arthritis patients?
Hydrotherapy can be effective in various areas and stages of treatment for osteoporosis and arthritis. Firstly, is it an effective form of injury prevention. By helping patients develop stability through core strength and improved balance, accidents and falls that lead to bone and joint injuries can be avoided.
Additionally, studies have shown that hydrotherapy eases the symptoms of osteoarthritis. By regularly performing strength-building exercises in a hydrotherapy pool, patients’ physical function improved and they were able to walk at a faster pace and for a greater distance. Another benefit of hydrotherapy, in particular, is that it improves cardiovascular fitness.
Performing strength-building exercises in a hydrotherapy pool instead of at a gym is especially helpful for patients with severe cases of the disease as it allows those who would otherwise be unable to handle a gym-based program to perform exercises that can build strength and help them get around the physical limitations of chronic conditions such as osteoporosis and arthritis.
A hydrotherapy pool is heated to about 34 degrees Celsius; this relaxes the muscles and joints while keeping patients comfortably warm as they exercise. A heated pool is particularly beneficial for those who suffer from significant pain.
In addition to being warmer than a regular public swimming pool--which is usually heated to about 28 degrees Celsius--a hydrotherapy pool will also have ramps or steps that make it easy to get in and out of the water.
Hydrotherapy pools can be found around Brisbane in clinics, rehabilitation centres and some leisure complexes. If you have access to a hydrotherapy pool and an exercise physiologist they can help you design a hydrotherapy program and guide you through the exercises while closely monitoring your form and assessing your progress.
Exercises for osteoporosis and osteoarthritis
There are a number of ways in which patients can exercise in water, depending on the severity of the condition as well as physical capabilities, level of fitness, and personal interest.
One-on-one sessions with an exercise physiologist may be the most advisable approach for those who are either new to hydrotherapy or severely limited by their illness. The exercise physiologist will personally prescribe exercises for your condition and help you perform them properly. Over time, you may be able to continue these exercises on your own or in a group class.
If one-on-one sessions are no longer required, local hydrotherapy pools may have options for independent use. Additionally, many centers will have water exercises classes geared towards those with health conditions.
As fitness levels increase, and osteoporosis symptoms lessen, patients may be able to join water aerobics classes or simply swim laps at a public swimming pool, for consultations for osteo arthritis visit this website.
Hydrotherapy as rehabilitation for returning to work
If a case of osteoporosis or osteoarthritis has resulted in injury or become so severe that a patient can no longer perform their duties at work, their employer may order a fitness to return to work assessment, for which rehabilitation may be required.
Hydrotherapy exercises can effectively help such patients build strength and regain the physical function needed to pass such an assessment. The best course of action in such cases is to consult an exercise physiologist who can help you on the path to greater health and fitness.