Riverview Therapies also offers Hydrotherapy at local Cascade/Cygnet Swimming pool.
Hydrotherapy is the use of water in the treatment of different conditions, including arthritis and related rheumatic complaints. Hydrotherapy differs from swimming because it involves special exercises that you do in a warm-water pool. The water temperature is usually 33–36ºC, which is warmer than a typical swimming pool.
At ICU Physiotherapy, you will have hydrotherapy treatment with one of our Physiotherapy assistant after thorough assessment with a fully qualified Physiotherapist. Usually a physiotherapist or a physiotherapist’s assistant with specialist training will show you how to do the exercises. The focus of the exercises can be adjusted to help your range of movement or strength, depending on your symptoms.
Hydrotherapy tends to be different to aquarobics, which can be quite strenuous, as it’s generally more focused on slow, controlled movements and relaxation.
Hydrotherapy is beneficial regardless of how many of your joints are affected. It’s sometimes used if you’ve had joint replacement surgery or if you have back pain, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and osteoarthritis, but it can be used for other types of arthritis if you’d like to try it.
You’ll normally share the pool with other people during your treatment sessions, although the exercises will usually be tailored to each individual. Sometimes group sessions are provided for people with similar conditions.
Hydrotherapy can help you in a number of different ways:
• The warmth of the water allows your muscles to relax and eases the pain in your joints, helping you to exercise.
• The water supports your weight, which helps to relieve pain and increase the range of movement of your joints.
• The water can be used to provide resistance to moving your joints. By pushing your arms and legs against the water, you can also improve your muscle strength.
Scientific studies have shown that hydrotherapy can improve strength and general fitness in people with various types of arthritis. The exercises can be tailored to your individual needs, so you can start slowly and gradually build up your strength and flexibility. The extra support that the water provides may make you feel like you can do more exercise than normal, so be careful not to overdo it. The exercise and the warmth of the water may make you feel tired after treatment, but this is quite normal. In general, hydrotherapy is one of the safest treatments for arthritis and back pain.
Please contact us at ICU Physiotherapy to have a informal chat and discuss your problem. We will be happy to advice if Hydrotherapy will be beneficial.
Before you start hydrotherapy, you’ll be seen by the physiotherapist in your hospital’s physiotherapy department, on the hospital ward or possibly in the
physiotherapist’s own surgery. They’ll ask about your general health and your arthritis, and assess your individual needs. Using this information and the information provided by your doctor, the physiotherapist will advise on whether hydrotherapy is appropriate for you. This initial assessment normally takes about 30–45 minutes.
A course of hydrotherapy usually involves five or six 30-minute sessions. Not all physiotherapy departments have a hydrotherapy pool, so you may have to travel to another hospital.
You should take:
• a swimming costume
• a towel
• medication that you would need while exercising, for example an inhaler, GTN spray or glucose tablets if you have diabetes
You don’t have to be able to swim to benefit from hydrotherapy. The pool is usually quite shallow (about chest height), so you can exercise well within your depth. There will always be two members of the healthcare team present, usually a physiotherapist and an assistant, and one of them will be in the pool with you. You can also use floats. Even if you’re nervous about being in the water it’s worth trying hydrotherapy – most people find the warm water soothing and pleasant.
(Information for this page has been taken from https://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/therapies/hydrotherapy/what-is-hydrotherapy.aspx)