Hydrotherapy is a safe, easy way to manage chronic illness with less pain, and muscles soreness. Many senior communities and healthy living centers are finding that this superior rehab tool is a great way to keep residents happy and living longer. Here’s why.
A recent International Council on Active Aging report of adults age 50+ showed: 70% of the people felt that a positive attitude can add years to their life. Older adults who exercise regularly were 32% more likely to have high optimism than those who didn’t exercise, and were 42% less likely to report a depression diagnosis. Hydrotherapy (sometimes called aquatic therapy) is an ideal exercise tool because seniors love to feel safe and confident in a pool. Water also minimizes pain and joint stress. These factors contribute to why seniors are more willing to continue their exercise routines in a pool.
What do Healthy Living Centers use hydrotherapy for?
- Pain relief
- Reduction in muscle spasm
- Increased joint range of motion
- Strengthening of weak muscles
- Increased circulation
- Improvement of balance and co-ordination
- Re-education of paralyzed muscles
Conditions hydrotherapy successfully treats and why
Aquatic exercise can be very useful in treating many different types of injuries and helping patients recover from surgery. Here are just a few examples:
Orthopedic injuries and surgery
Whether it’s knees, hips or shoulders, the key to recovering from orthopedic injuries and surgery is increasing mobility to ward off stiffness and increase flexibility. Water exercising means less stress on the body, and no fear of falling and re-injuring yourself.
Arthritis and fibromyalgia
A key treatment for both is relaxation. Combining the warm water with a spa jet massage stimulates the senses and relaxes the body, reducing the stress and pain on aching muscles and joints. Studies show that exercising in warm water can help decrease the painful side effects of these two conditions, strengthen muscles and joints, and improve flexibility.
The warmth of the pool water and the localization of jet massage can provide a sensory experience which aids in relaxation and stress relief, delivering a respite from chronic pain. The pool’s hydrotherapy jets and flexible massage wand deliver a deep massage right where it hurts: stiff joints, manipulate scar tissue, or relieve aching muscles. Those suffering chronic pain can exercise comfortably in the water, reducing stress on joints and muscles.
Two common conditions are multiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophy. The pool water provides sensory stimulation to create kinesthetic awareness. The buoyancy of the water reduces stress on the body so you can focus on motor skills and exercises. Try an underwater treadmill. It helps with gait training without a fear of falling. Adjustable-strength, penetrating spa jet massages or a jet massage wand can reduce discomfort by targeting specific areas.
Hydrotherapy is becoming a more common method for rehabilitation at physical therapy clinics and senior living communities to minimize Parkinson’s symptoms. The water acts as a full-body support, making it easier to balance as you exercise. The warm water loosens joints and muscles. A pool with a current is a great way to complete simple water exercises, or more intense water exercises.
Swimming exercises have always been a great way to tone muscles and lose weight while putting very little stress on your joints. Swim-in-place pools make weight loss through swimming and aquatic exercise easy and convenient. Using a pool with an adjustable current lets you work at your own pace while the water bears most of your weight. Studies have shown a person generally burns two calories more per minute of activity in the water than on land.
“It’s a wonderful modality that allows patients to get relief faster.”~ Lori Frechette PT, rehab director, Clifton Rehab Nursing Center
Hydrotherapy for senior heath can keep older adults happy and healthy for years to come. Click on the link below to download an informative guide. Learn about water therapy, read actual case studies and interviews with senior communities who use water therapy pools to positively impact their ROI.
~ Authored by Lucas Saunders