Sports & Spinal Clinic

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We have expanded our Aquatic Physiotherapy Service….

Great news to everyone who has been asking. We are now offering more sessions in the pool than ever before. With both male and female physiotherapists running hydrotherapy there now is really no reason to put off starting a program.

Aquatic Physiotherapy is a great, fun way to exercise, that’s low impact and has many benefits over land based exercise for some populations. Common examples of the types of problems that benefit from warm water based exercise include: arthritis of the weight bearing joints such as hips and knees: Rehabilitation following surgery such as shoulder, knee and hip replacement: Preoperative strength and mobility training prior to replacement surgery.

Listed below is more detailed information that will help you understand the benefits of Aquatic Physiotherapy.

Osteoarthritis and Aquatic Physiotherapy– the perfect mix for management

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis, affecting about 5–10% of the total Australian population. The development of OA is determined by age, genetic predisposition, previous injury, chronic stress across the joint, and abnormal mechanical forces caused primarily by obesity.

We know from extensive research, that weakness in muscles around the joint may contribute to accelerating the degenerative process. Strengthening the muscles around a degenerative joint may help to improve function and slow the rate of wear. For example, in knee arthritis, the thigh muscles (quadriceps) at the front of the upper leg, are a risk factor for, and can contribute to the symptoms of knee OA. Strengthening these muscles in a low impact environment can improve function and reduce pain.

Aquatic Physiotherapy is particularly useful in situations where the cushioning between the bones is beginning to wear and become less effective. In these situations, people often have difficulty completing land based exercise such as walking. As time passes people’s activity levels fall, muscles become weaker offering less support to a deteriorating joint, and there may be accompanying weight gain. All this leads to increasing symptoms and increasing disability. Hydrotherapy offers the patient a chance to reverse this downward spiral and that’s why it can be so useful in these conditions.

Following a detailed land based assessment and health screening questionnaire, patients are offered one on one treatment with the physiotherapist in the pool with you. In many cases, after an initial assessment and program prescription, patients can individually manage their program themselves reducing cost and giving them the freedom to exercise at

their convenience. Some patients then choose to regularly review their goals and progress at six week or twelve week intervals with their physiotherapist to ensure they are using doing the most effective program for their level of recovery.

Balance Re-Training and Aquatic Physiotherapy

Falls is a major source of disability in our community. As we age our balance deteriorates and is associated with an increased falls risk. But the beauty about balance is its highly trainable in almost all people. Aquatic Physiotherapy is often a fantastic way to retrain balance in older people. The buoyancy of the water makes it a safe way to retrain balance and improve lower limb strength. In many cases not only has balance has deteriorated, but also lower limb strength, and this has also been shown to contribute to falls in the older population. In these situations, the addition of a strength component to the program can yield fantastic results.

Orthopaedic Rehabilitation, Joint Surgery, post-Fracture Rehabilitation and Aquatic Physiotherapy

We use hydrotherapy for rehabilitation after joint surgery. Joint replacement such as Total Knee replacement, Total Hip replacement and Shoulder replacement all do extremely well with Aquatic Physiotherapy. For many fractures, where weight bearing is limited, water based therapy offers a massive head start to rehabilitation.

The buoyancy of the water supports the weight of the arm or leg, allowing the muscles around the repaired or replaced joints to work in a weightless environment. This reduces the stress on the repaired tissues and allows the joint to keep moving. In the early phases, buoyancy helps assist movement, but equally as you progress, it can be used for resistance and strengthening.

If you have had recent orthopedic surgery you should enquire with your surgeon or treating doctor if Aquatic Physiotherapy would be useful for you.

Low back Pain and Aquatic Physiotherapy

Aquatic Physiotherapy can provide an excellent modality to allow patients with back pain to exercise more comfortably. Often in acute cases, people can tolerate gentle water based exercise to start to restore normal movement well before they can tolerate land based exercise.

Hydrotherapy also works well with post lumbar surgery patients offering a more supportive, reduced- loading environment to rehabilitate. 

If you think you may benefit from Aquatic Physiotherapy, please feel free to call us and speak with one of our physiotherapists.

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