Osteoarthritis and chronic lower back pain are two conditions that make it difficult to exercise on a regular basis. The lack of exercise leads to weight gain, which in turn exacerbates the pain. Hydrotherapy, performed under the professional supervision of one of our physiotherapists, might help you break the pain and weight gain cycle.
What Is Hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy uses the properties of water in a rehabilitative environment. Depending on your condition or injury, your physiotherapist might prescribe sitting with the painful limb near the jets, therapeutic aquatic exercise, or a combination of the two. In a hydrotherapy pool, your increased buoyancy allows you to perform exercises that might be impossible on land. Meanwhile, the increased water temperature, as well as the hydrostatic pressure, increases circulation whilst enhancing flexibility and joint mobility. The treatment involves immersing part or all of your body in water to improve your mobility and alleviate chronic pain.
Hydrotherapy and Osteoarthritis
A chronic breakdown of joint cartilage that results in pain, swelling and stiffness characterizes the disease called osteoarthritis. Also known as degenerative joint disease, this affliction usually occurs during middle age. An Australia study involved sedentary individuals with painful knee and/or hip osteoarthritis. The 55 subjects attended water-exercise classes for one hour twice a week for 12 weeks. The physiotherapists assessed each participant’s pain level and physical functioning abilities before the trial began, 12 weeks into the study, and again 12 weeks after the study completed. The hydrotherapy group showed significant improvement in functionality and pain management. These clinical benefits were sustained for three additional months after the study´s completion.
Hydrotherapy for Back Pain
Injuries, overworked muscles, under-worked muscles and poor posture all contribute to chronic lower back pain. Likewise, chronic emotional stress might have the same effects. These conditions cause our muscles to tighten, which in turn makes our blood vessels constrict. The process interferes with blood circulation, and the lack of circulation exacerbates the pain.
Impaired circulation interferes with your body’s ability to distribute nutrients and remove toxic waste.
Poor blood circulation might have an adverse effect temperature regulation, which in turn might alter the various physiological processes. If your blood isn’t flowing properly to a part of the body, you will feel less coordinated. Next time you go out in cold weather without gloves on, notice how it affects the coordination of your hands.
A session alleviates back pain in a number of ways:
- Heating: Warm water relaxes the muscles and improves circulation.
- Toxin Removal: Your blood responds to warmth by removing the toxins that interfere with circulation.
- Massage: The pleasing combination of bubbling of air, pounding of water jets and water turbulence massages your body.
- Stretching: Your muscles are more flexible in warm environments.
If you suffer from osteoarthritis or low back pain, hydrotherapy can help. Don’t suffer in silence. Speak to one of our physiotherapists. Call 08 9272 7359 now!