Hydrotherapy, now know as Aquatic physiotherapy is a great alternative for many people who find exercising on land is a bit too much for them at the moment and for those looking for something extra to mix up their regular exercise program.
Exercising in the water reduces the amount of body weight going through your feet by up to 80%. This is great for people with painful joints like osteoarthritis, post-surgery or even after an acute muscle or joint strain.
By utilising this weight-bearing advantage people can practice everyday tasks, like walking, squatting and jogging, with less pain than on land. This can really help to get movements right and give the opportunity for muscles and joints to learn the correct sequence in a less painful environment, preparing the body for land-based exercise.
With the support of water, it is also the perfect opportunity to master some balance exercises, from simple to more complex tasks. Add the benefit that falling over won’t break any bones and you have a great environment to work on keeping steady and upright. This is great for people more at risk of falls and fractures like older people, people with osteoporosis and people with decreased balance.
In addition to taking the weight of your joints, water provides gentle compression through the concept of hydrostatic pressure. This can feel great on swollen joints and help recovery from soft tissue injuries. There is even some research suggesting that it can aid in recovery after exercising hard in the gym, on the field or on the court.
Add to that supervision from a qualified physiotherapist and you have a convincing argument that anyone can benefit from aquatic physiotherapy. From neurological conditions to rolled ankles, being in the pool can be of great benefit.