Hydrotherapy, also known as aquatic physiotherapy or aquatherapy.It is a therapeutic activity that consists of performing exercises inside a pool with heated water, around 34ºC.This therapy uses water to promote the healing and rehabilitation of patients who have disorders such as depression and neurological, orthopedic and respiratory problems.
Generally, hydrotherapy is done by a physiotherapist and is widely used by pregnant women,because it helps in the treatment of:
- Arthritis, arthrosis or rheumatism;
- Orthopedic problems, such as disc fractures or hernias;
- Muscle injuries;
- Joint pain;
- Swelling in the legs;
- Respiratory distress;
- Neurological problems.
Hydrotherapy for pregnant women should be indicated by the obstetrician and is usually used to improve blood circulation, reduce swelling of the legs and decrease pain in the back, feet and knees.
What are the benefits
Hydrotherapy helps reduce posture problems and conveys a sense of well-being,and promotes self-esteem. In addition it also contributes to:
- Muscle strengthening;
- Relief of muscle or joint pain;
- Improvement of balance and motor coordination;
- Promoting muscle relaxation;
- Decreased sleep disorders;
- Reduction of stress and anxiety;
- Increased joint amplitudes;
What are the indications
Hydrotherapy is indicated for the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of physical, orthopedic, neurological, rheumatic, cardiological, pneumological, sports and aesthetic problems. The main indications are:
- high pain level;
- edema of extremities;
- joint contractures;
- decreased mobility;
- generalized muscle weakness;
- running deviations;
- postural dysfunctions ;
- decreased flexibility;
- limitation of range of motion
There are several techniques and therapeutic aquatic exercises for hydrotherapy, which must be accompanied by a physiotherapist, such as:
This technique is used to strengthen the muscles.Usually, the therapist stands and the patient uses floats in the neck, pelvis, and if necessary, the ankle and wrist.This method is usually used for people with Central Nervous System damage, orthopedic dysfunctions, or people who have decreased range of motion, weakness, pain, or low back pain.
The Watsu is also held in a pool of warm water, about 35 ° C, through specific techniques that take place movements, twists and stretches.The goal is to unlock the physical and mental tensions. In these sessions, specific exercises are performed that take into account the person’s breathing and position.This method is indicated for cases of physical and mental stress, fear, anxiety, insomnia, muscle aches, migraine, lack of disposition, depression, acute and chronic stresses, pregnant women, and people with emotional blocks.
Also called a 10 point program, it is a process in which the patient works on breathing, balance and control of movements.The goal is to improve motor learning and makes the person more capable of performing activities.This method is performed with voluntary movements of the person, even if they lack mobility.