Aquatic Physiotherapy is physiotherapy in water and the individual programme is devised after a land assessment. This could be physiotherapy treatment from within, or instruction from the pool side depending upon the individual’s needs. It is important that you let us know before entering the pool that if you may be adversely affected by any medical conditions.
Exercise in our Clarence Hydrotherapy Pool has particular benefits for joints and muscles by:
Unloading of the weight of the body though the buoyancy of the water reduces stress on joints especially the lower back, hips knees and ankles.
- Pain relief as the warmth of the water enables relaxation and the ‘letting go’ of tight muscles to allow for better movement where stiff.
- Reduced swelling as the compression of the skin with the pressure of the water, particularly when exercising, helps with return of fluid to the heart and reduces oedema.
- Facilitating exercise with the smooth resistance of muscles graded to suit all levels of fitness and swimming ability by varying the speed of movement. Equipment and water depth selection may be used to help increase range of movement, resist movement for strength, to stimulate better balance or a combination of these effects.
- Promoting practical function activities such as balance, walking, squatting and stepping exercises to be performed that may be too difficult to do otherwise. This hopefully will bridge the gap to improving land function too.
It is usually best to have an assessment by our physiotherapist first to ascertain the extent of the problem and its limitations.
Further land based treatment or hydrotherapy alone may be suggested, or land treatment may be combined with hydrotherapy to maximise its effect. For example, pre-pool joint mobilisation / exercise may be needed to allow for better movement in the pool or enable the progression of exercises without aggravation. Home exercises may also be of benefit and of course can be done more frequently. Advice may be given on how to better manage a condition, either to assist with healing, to try prevent recurrence, or to slow down progression.
If safe and appropriate, an individual pool exercise programme may be prescribed to be continued in a group situation, without the need of a one-to-one physiotherapy session, so saving on costs. This is especially useful if it is found that “maintenance” exercises are necessary to control an ongoing problem.
During the course of treatment it may be necessary to write to your doctor to inform him/her of your progress or outcome.