New Delhi: A particularly effective treatment for illnesses like arthritis and its complications is hydrotherapy or water therapy. In contrast to aqua aerobics, which typically entails physically demanding activities in the water, hydrotherapy exercise incorporates specialised movements that are performed in a warm-water swimming pool. The water is maintained between 32 and 36 degrees Celsius.
Hydrotherapy, also known as aquatic therapy, can be beneficial for those with joint discomfort. It is utilised particularly for those who have undergone joint replacement surgery, as well as for those with back pain, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and osteoarthritis.
What is hydrotherapy exercise and how to do it?
Exercise that is done in a swimming pool is referred to as hydrotherapy exercise. The pool's depth is between the shoulders and the waist, and the water is kept at a comfortable temperature.
Exercises for hydrotherapy are typically carried out with the assistance of a physical therapist, somewhat similar to water aerobics sessions.
Apart from reducing the symptoms of joint pain and arthritis, hydrotherapy is also used to:
» Promote relaxation
» Improve blood circulation
» Ease anxiety, depression and pain
» Treat musculoskeletal problems
» Role of Hydrotherapy in People with Joint Pain or Arthritis
Those who have attempted to walk underwater know that it is more difficult to do so than it is on dry land. Walking becomes more difficult because of the water's resistance, which contributes to the development of muscle strength. However, since there is no gravity underwater, patients can use their muscles more actively and feel more comfortable. Patients' muscles that are generally not used during land therapy are activated by the therapy.
Regular exercise is crucial and advantageous for persons with arthritis, according to research. Daily physical activity can enhance joint functionality, lessen symptoms like fatigue, reduce hospitalisation risk, and lower the risk of developing chronic diseases like heart disease that are linked to inflammatory arthritis, per a review written by the Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology.
Surprisingly, the majority of arthritis sufferers avoid activities because they think doing them will make their disease worse and make them feel awful. Despite the fact that land treatment is crucial for treating arthritic symptoms and joint pain, most patients report that these exercises hurt their joints and they don't like doing them.
However, such patients find alleviation with hydrotherapy. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis who had hydrotherapy experienced less joint soreness and pain, according to a study published in the journal Musculoskeletal Care. Additionally, it improved their attitude, and they enjoyed the workout.
Benefits of Hydrotherapy
» It can be an effective therapy to treat chronic pain
» The therapy helps to loosen the tight, tense muscles while promoting relaxation. It also enhances the digestion activity and the metabolic rate
» The water in the pool provides resistance to moving the joints. When someone pushes their legs and arms against the water, it assists in improving the muscle strength
» Hydrotherapy also increases cardiorespiratory fitness, which is essential for good heart health
» Studies have also shown that specific inflammatory markers can decrease with hydrotherapy
» It also stimulates blood circulation across the body
Compared to land therapy, hydrotherapy may be more comfortable for people with arthritis or joint discomfort. When performing hydrotherapy exercises, it's crucial not to attempt it on your own and to always get professional assistance from a physical therapist.