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Hydrotherapy

Definition:

“Aquatic (physical) therapy is a program, using mechanical and thermal characteristics of water during partial or complete immersion, in combination with the effects of movement. It evokes short term and long term adaptation mechanisms of a person with a deranged biological system, using specific stimuli to create biological and thus therapeutic effects.” (The Dutch Centre of Allied Health Care)


Effects of Hydrodynamics on the main body systems:

When the body is immersed in water:

  • The heart works harder with an increased stroke volume allowing for increased blood flow to the limbs
  • An increased workload applied to the lungs by the water can strengthen chest muscles ultimately making breathing easier on land
  • The renal system increases its excretion of sodium and potassium in the body allowing for decreased edema in the limbs
  • And increased workload applied to the muscles by the water allows for more work with less force applied to the joints
  • Warm water works with the nervous system to decrease pain and increase mood.    


People who may Benefit from Hydrotherapy:

  • Clients with lymphedema or other external swelling in the immersed limbs
  • Clients with mild controlled heart conditions
  • Clients with controlled respiratory conditions
  • Clients with pain, anxiety, hypertension or increased blood pressure
  • Clients with balance or proprioceptive issues
  • Clients troubled with decreased range of motion after injury, surgery, etc.
  • Post-surgical patients (i.e.) total knee/hip replacements, ACL/MCL repairs, etc.
  • Senior’s or those clients having difficulty implementing exercise programs on land due to pain, decreased strength or for any other reason

** If you have questions about whether you or a loved one may be able to participate in hydrotherapy session please consult your doctor first.


Precautions:

  • Clients with compromised venous return, thyroid function or untreated cardiac conditions
  • Clients with acute cardiac dysfunction, acute restrictive lung dysfunction, moderate to severe uncontrolled restrictive pulmonary disease or exacerbation of pulmonary disease (i.e.) emphysema
  • Clients with peripheral vascular disease
  • Clients with heightened sensory conditions who have trouble with initial adaptations

** Should you or a loved one have any questions related to whether or not they should participate in such a program please consult your doctor first.



Ineligibility:

  • Incontinence
  • Acute vomiting or diarrhea
  • Medical instability following an acute episode (i.e.) CVA, DVT, PE, etc.
  • Clients with a proven allergy to Chlorine (or other pool disinfectants)
  • Clients wearing medicated skin patches not to be worn in warm water pools
  • Clients having Angina at rest
  • Clients who have shortness of breath at rest
  • Any uncontrolled cardiac failure
  • Clients who’s weight is in excess of emergency recovery equipment (i.e.) rescue board
  • Anyone with open wounds not able to be covered by Tagaderm
  • Clients suffering from uncontrolled seizures
  • MRSA