Musculoskeletal conditions can be troubling. They limit the range of movement, impede the ability to get around, and degrade the quality of life. Hydrotherapy can be useful for some of these conditions, using the properties of the water to promote healing and recovery.
The primary goal of hydrotherapy when dealing with musculoskeletal injuries is accelerating the recovery and restoration process. Accomplishing this overall strategy involves meeting smaller goals such as decreasing symptoms of pain and improving strength, confidence, and flexibility.
Hydrotherapy has been used to help to tackle osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It is also used in handling sprains in the ankle, hamstring, and quadriceps areas. Ankylosing spondylitis is also a problem that hydrotherapy can help with.
Finally, hydrotherapy may be advisable for people who have muscle tears or experience frequent lower back pain.
Water is good for many conditions because of its supportive properties. Water reduces the weight that the bones, joints, and muscles bear with each motion. The reduction means there is less pain, less risk of injury or swelling.
At the same time, hydrotherapy heats the water to a temperature that promotes a reduction in swelling and increase in circulation. This leads to a decrease in pain, allowing people to ease into full function and range of motion slowly.
A final benefit of water is its variable resistance. By just adjusting the depth, the therapist can alter the level of resistance that the patient faces. The deeper someone is, the more resistance they feel from the water. They can also increase the resistance by increasing the speed of their movements.
Exercises are performed at varying depths. This allows the weight and pressure to increase gradually, rather than to thrust the patient right into things. They are allowed to have time to re-learn how to move or for their injuries to recover and lose their sensitivity.