Five Facts About Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy is an excellent form of exercise for a range of musculoskeletal conditions. The benefits of performing your rehabilitation in the water are that the weight-bearing forces are significantly less on the body, such that it is well suited for acute sporting/whiplash/work-related injuries and all arthritis related conditions. Hydrotherapy is also a great option for antenatal exercise classes as well as  postnatal exercise.

Check out the top 5 benefits of aquatic physiotherapy according to the Australian Physiotherapy Association.

  1. Aquatic plyometric training is effective in improving strength, jumping and sprinting
    Plyometric training, or jump training, is traditionally performed on land. However, studies have shown that aquatic plyometric training provides similar improvements in knee strength, vertical jump and sprinting. Aquatic plyometric training is beneficial for those who require low impact exercise as the buoyancy reduces joint loading on impact.
  2. Hydrotherapy is beneficial for improving balance and decreasing fear of falling  
    If you’re someone who has a history of falls, a fear of falling, decreased balance or decreased mobility, hydrotherapy may be a more beneficial form of exercise as opposed to land-based therapy. The risk of falling and therefore the fear of falling may be reduced in an aquatic environment due to the properties of water making falls much less likely. In turn, participants may be feel more confident to attempt more challenging exercises during hydrotherapy.
  3. Hydrotherapy is effective in improving cardiovascular fitness in stroke survivors
    Exercise is important for stoke survivors as a way of preventing a secondary stroke. Hydrotherapy may allow stroke survivors to feel more supported, allowing them to reach higher intensities during exercise. Various studies have shown a positive correlation between hydrotherapy for stroke survivors and an improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness.
  4. Aquatic physiotherapy is effective in improving the strength of the paretic knee in stroke survivors
    Lower limb weakness, especially of the knee flexors, has been linked to limitations in walking, balance and overall function of daily living in stroke survivors. Hydrotherapy has been shown to provide significant improvements in knee extensor strength of the paretic knee in comparison to land-based exercise. Due to the properties of an aquatic environment such as water viscosity, the participant has more control over the speed of their movement which then changes the resistance while performing strengthening exercises.
  5. Hydrotherapy increases fitness and strength in people with type 2 diabetes
    Exercise in patients with type 2 diabetes is associated with reduced mortality. Improvements have been seen in vascular function with aquatic training. This is important because of the association between type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Hydrotherapy provides an effective, low-impact exercise option for patients with type 2 diabetes, especially with musculoskeletal comorbidities.

If you, or someone you know, would be interested in trying one of our hydrotherapy classes, you can request an appointment with one of our physiotherapists here.

Information is sourced from the Australian Physiotherapy Association’s ‘inmotion’ February 2022 magazine written by Sophie Heywood, Jillian Chua and Anna Scheer. You can read this article in more depth here.


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