Hydrotherapy for Rehabilitation and Recovery
Hydrotherapy offers rehabilitation and recovery to a group of people who may otherwise not experience these benefits.
Water based exercises allow the user to experience increases in joint mobility and range of motion without the impact associated with land based exercise. Primarily, hydrotherapy is of considerable benefit to individuals with joint based problems – whether these be chronic conditions such as arthritis, or post surgery (joint replacement or other).
The primary characteristics of this class of exercisers is the need to maintain (or return) movement about a joint, without experiencing the increased joint loading. The partial weight bearing offered by water offers these characteristics.
So let’s keep this simple. We’ll focus on the primary movements involved in the lower limb and apply these to a water based environment. The hip can flex, extend, adduct, abduct, internally rotate and laterally rotate. The knee can flex and extend. Slightly simplified but more than adequate.
Hydrotherapy is not an endpoint. It is a means to an end. The endpoint is, and should always be, the return to full functional movements.
Dan Williams is the Director of Range of Motion. He has a Bachelor of Science (Exercise and Health Science) and a Postgraduate Bachelor of Exercise Rehabilitation Science from The University of Western Australia, with minors in Biomechanics and Sport Psychology. He has worked with many thousands of individuals along the full spectrum of health, and has coached at The CrossFit Games. He regularly presents to corporate and fitness industry groups and mentors Fitness Professionals.