Hydro Therapy – Aqautic Therapy for Pain Relief and Exercise

Benefits of Hydro Therapy

Hydro Therapy is simply the use of warm water to help us relax or exercise or both. Hot Tubs, Swimming Pools, Therapy Pools, and even your Home Bathtub can serve as appropriate vehicles for this purpose. Today’s “Hot Tub” contains dozens of jets that can feel wonderful and allow us to release muscle tension and relax. You may have a high end “Whirlpool Tub” or built in Home Spa. Larger bodies of warm water allow us to move from relaxation into exercise, stretching and strengthening. So while passive relaxation has it’s benefit, if you can, try and find a warm water pool large enough to exercise in. Ideally the pool will be no deeper than mid chest level to the bottom of your neck (48″ to 52″) is just about right.

If a pool is too deep it can be dangerous should you become ill. If a pool is too shallow you won’t receive the full benefits of flotation and buoyancy. Water allows us to exercise without stressing the joints. As muscles relax and the forces of gravity are lessened we can enjoy stretching that would not otherwise be possible. An ideal temperature for exercise is 84 to 90 degrees. Much warmer and you’ll become uncomfortable with your movements and begin to sweat a lot. For just relaxation 100 to 102 degrees is wonderful. When the water temperature drops below body temperature and we are not moving it becomes uncomfortable, and water over 104 degrees is very dangerous to our bodies. In fact if your water temperature is above body temperature you should limit your sessions to 20 minutes. Water 104 degrees and higher for periods longer than 20 minutes can damage your internal organs.

Warm water can really help to reduce your stress levels. Often Hydro Therapy is combined with aroma therapy and music to complete the relaxation. It’s hard not to just relax when the pressure is taken off your injury. It’s like an anti-gravity experience where we become weightless.

Some Spas contain special “Neck jets” or “Lumbar jets” that just melt (at least temporarily) away your pain. The warm water dilates the blood vessels promoting healing, and a 20 minute session will help you fall asleep faster

Caveats: You’re skin is an organ and will absorb chemicals in water so ask your dealer about the least chemical solution to keeping the water pure and clean. Tubs will make you sweat and release toxins in the water so be sure to keep your Spa’s water clean. Do not exceed 20 minutes in water over 104 degrees (The limit at which you can set the Spa’s) as your internal proteins will start to cook! If the water feels too hot turn it down, anything over body temperature will make you sweat. Ask your Physician about Hydro Therapy for your condition. Hydro Therapy will not “cure” your condition, but it can go a long ways to making your pain more tolerable and will aid in your recovery most of the time. If prescribed by your Physician you may be able to deduct the expense of a Hydro Therapy Solution from your personal taxes.

Note: Not everyone is comfortable in water. Some people never learn to swim as youngsters, this is okay. That’s why we recommend to find a pool that is not too deep. Find a partner to go with you. Swimming and splashing is fun! Enjoy yourself.

Tips on Purchasing a Hot Tub

There are so many brands available and Hot Tub dealers come and go. Find a local dealer that has been in business a long time with an established track record. The tub is important, but even more important is the warranty and service for that warranty. Tubs require maintenance, you’ll need a source for chemicals. Pumps break, control panels break. Just like purchasing an automobile – think about the “Total Cost of Ownership” not just the up front cost. Be sure to “Wet Test” the tub before you buy! Wet testing is essential, because the tubs feel completely different with and without water. Wet testing means taking your swimsuit to the dealer and sitting in the tub for 10 or 15 minutes. Make sure you can control the jets, make sure the jets are not so powerful that they blow you out of your seat. Try all the seat positions to be sure they are comfortable to your body.

Posted by on Jul 17th, 2008 and filed under Arthritis Treatment Research, Back Pain, Neck Pain, Pain Management. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response by filling following comment form or trackback to this entry from your site

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