Hydrotherapy Physiotherapy: Swimming As Rehab

min read


The Sports Injury Clinic

Georgia Russell

January 14, 2020


Hydrotherapy physiotherapy is a therapeutic practice that combines water with physical therapy techniques to promote healing and rehabilitation. Water use in physiotherapy has been employed for centuries, dating back to ancient times. It remains an effective method for treating various conditions.

What is hydrotherapy physiotherapy?

Hydrotherapy physiotherapy uses water to provide resistance, buoyancy, and support to the body, which can aid in the rehabilitation process. This therapy can be performed in various settings, including pools, spas, or specially designed hydrotherapy rooms.

What are the benefits of hydrotherapy physiotherapy?

These benefits of this form of physiotherapy include pain relief, improved mobility, increased strength and endurance, reduced inflammation and swelling, and improved cardiovascular health.

Additionally, hydrotherapy physiotherapy can have psychological benefits, such as reduced stress and anxiety.

How does this form of therapy work? 

Hydrotherapy physiotherapy works by utilizing the unique properties of water to aid in the rehabilitation process. Water provides resistance, which can help build muscle strength and endurance. Additionally, water provides buoyancy, which reduces the weight bearing on the body and can reduce the pressure on joints and other structures. This can be particularly beneficial for people with conditions that affect mobility or cause pain.

The temperature of the water can also be adjusted to provide specific therapeutic effects. For example, warm water can help to relax muscles and promote circulation. In contrast, cold water can help to reduce inflammation and swelling.

There are a variety of techniques used in hydrotherapy physiotherapy, but the most popular and effective form for sports injuries is swimming.

Swimming as physiotherapy

Swimming is often considered a great low impact form of exercise for people of all ages. It has been shown to have many physiological benefits such as improved strength, increased cardiovascular fitness, and a reduced risk of heart disease. Because of these reasons, and more, swimming is often considered a great adjunct to most rehab programs.

As swimming is relatively low impact, it is possible for people undergoing a rehab programs to commence swimming quite early in the process. In particular, those with lower limb injuries. For anyone concerned about losing fitness when undergoing rehab, cutting laps in the pool gives them an exercise option that can maintain their cardiovascular fitness so when they return to their chosen activity, they can hit the ground "running".

It is important to remember that swimming can be a form of strengthening, especially after a shoulder or neck injury. These injuries do tend to be more challenging to manage, but with direction from your Physiotherapist, hitting the pool deck can be a great mid to late stage of rehab. These aquatic benefits are not only limited to swimming. Hydrotherapy can be a great way to stay active, improve fitness or to get on top of injury. Hydrotherapy programs can be as simple as walking or running forwards and backwards or more complex movements revolving around strength and conditioning.

In summary, swimming as a form of hydrotherapy physiotherapy is a great activity that can be employed to maintain fitness and enhance your rehabilitation when used correctly. Like with all injuries it is important to have a clear and concise rehab plan to ensure you get back on track as quickly as possible. We recommend having a discussion with your Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist to see how swimming may fit into your rehabilitation plan

To book and appointment with a Physiotherapist or an Exercise Physiologist, call us on 9783 9990 or book online.


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