Hydrotherapy is the use of water for therapeutic purposes. There are many different types of hydrotherapy, but they all employ water’s physical characteristics to provide curative effects to the body. For example, water increases buoyancy which allows exercise without the full effect of gravity on weight bearing joints. In conjunction with buoyancy, water’s inherent resistant properties provide an excellent environment for resistance-type exercises. Water of different temperatures can be used to increase or decrease circulation. And when jet propelled, water can be used as a massaging tool. Utilizing water’s different traits allows for different types of hydrotherapy.
Benefits of Hydrotherapy
The use of hot or cold water can reduce pain and inflammation. Cold water constricts the blood vessels and therefore reduces the flow of blood to an injured area and provides a numbing sensation. On the other hand, warm or hot water can relax muscles and reduce pain associated with arthritis, fibromyalgia, sprains and other afflictions. The use of jet propelled water can provide a form of massage to relieve the pain of aching muscles, joints and other ailing body parts.
Increased Range Of Motion
Soaking in warm water can relax the muscles allowing for an increased range of motion. The use of heat will dilate blood vessels and increase blood circulation allowing muscles to relax. This increased circulation can also help reduce lactic acid build up in the muscles which results from oxygen depletion in overworked muscles. Warm water can also relieve stiffness in the tendons caused by tendonitis, as well as pain resulting from strains and sprains. Buoyancy provided by water can also relieve the gravitational pressure on bones and weight bearing joints allowing for an ease of movement not experienced on land.
Strengthening of Muscles
Hydrotherapy can provide a role in the strengthening of muscles especially when it comes to injuries, muscular degeneration or other musculoskeletal conditions. A large number of land based exercises can be modified for use underwater making use of water’s resistant and buoyant properties. The resistance against body movement provided by water is an excellent environment for exercise without the added stress of gravity on weight bearing body parts. Exercise machines such as underwater treadmills make great use of these water properties. Water can also help in improving the balance of weakened muscles without the risk of injury due to falling.
Warm water and exercise increase blood circulation and sweat which both aid in cycling toxins and impurities out of the body. This will also stimulate the lymphatic system, the second major circulation system in the body, which encourages white blood cell flow resulting in the drainage of dead cellular debris from the body. Increased circulation boosts the amount of oxygen rich blood flowing to the heart and muscles while promoting healthy cell and organ function. The increased circulatory effects of hydrotherapy improves the immune system as a whole.
Hot Tubs and Hydrotherapy
Hot tubs are an excellent tool for practicing hydrotherapy. No longer do you need to visit a doctor or physiotherapist to benefit from hydrotherapeutic practices. A hot tub will provide you the benefits from the comfort of your own home.
To find out more about the many different hot tub models available and their unique hydrotherapy benefits, download a hot tub buyer’s guide below, or visit us at our hot tub store.