Hydrotherapy: It Can Do Your Body Good
A Jacuzzi or whirlpool are perfect for hydrotherapy after a workout session
Hydrotherapy can help relax sore joints, ease back pain, and make you feel better in warm or hot water. If you enjoy taking a hot or warm shower, or a warm bath, imagine the possibilities at feeling the same way at your own health club or gym. You can also find the same pleasure in a spa, hot tub or whirlpool with comfortable heated water, like mineral springs with healing health benefits. It can also jump-start and reboot your energy for the rest of the day.
Easing the back pain via therapy
When I did aquatic physical therapy this summer, before I went over to land physical therapy, I experienced a new sensation. The warm heated pool water made my feel back better from shoulder to waist level. It reminded me of the equivalent sensation of pulsing water from the shower to massage my aching back. If your local rehab center has the option of aquatic physical therapy, I would suggest you can do it. It can help you recover from broken bones to an aching back and whatever else that ails you.
Some of the physical therapy exercises I did last year was done in the water. Some of them were new and used a variety of pool equipment that you can do at the wall or near it. When I followed my aquatic physical therapist instructions, I managed to do it on my own as I progressed from a different set of reps per session.
It started out with walking a few times in the pool to warm up, before we worked other exercises like neck stretches near the water. My first sessions were about a half-hour long and finished with an hour for the second half of the therapy session. For therapy, they used a variety of equipment to use in the pool: noodles, kick boards, 4-inch and 8-inch steps, water barbells, and paddles. It really give you an workout for your arms and legs, which is also great for your back as well. After each session, I noticed a difference as the pain level stayed the same or decreased every day. And in between sessions, your home exercises for the pool can get your prepared for the next day to make you feel stronger. If you graduated to do them in the pool, you get a chance to do your own therapy session at your own pace. If you combined it with regular land therapy, you would feel better every day.
Water aerobics in a heated pool have many benefits, especially for back or joint pain
Stay hydrated with a water bottle when you swim or do any other aquatic activities
Getting a Relaxed Fit
Now if you prefer to do water aerobics at your local gym, your whole body will thank you. Each gym have its own water aerobics program for low intensity to high intensity exercises. Some classes are in early to mid morning, and some are also on weekends for your preference. Last week, I decided to do my first water aerobics class and saw how it went. If your gym have an Arthritis Relief Foundation program, consider that class to help you out with your joints. If not, try to find a low-impact one in its place in any heated or therapy pool. It focuses on the range of motion. Although I was the only newbie surrounded by senior citizens in the class, that was okay with me. The instructor was nice. You can take this class, once or twice a week or even more, or even do back to back, if they off the same class twice. (I’ve heard that the 9 AM class was the same, except that they sing during exercising.) Each instructor might have a different exercise program.
For my water aerobics class, we started out with walking in the pool for a warm up. Then we start off with exercises for the neck, arms, waist and ankles, in and above water. Then we do go to the side of the pool to do some leg stretches on both sides by kicking them forward and back, sideways, and in circular motion. Then we go back to the center of the pool to cool down with exercising our wrists, ankles, fingers, neck and shoulders. If I have to pick favorites, my favorite is the golf swing and the baseball bat swing.
Other gyms might have these kinds of water aerobics, depending on your level. There’s a shallow water fitness class that worked on the upper and lower body workout with a warm up, cardio and cool down stretch with equipment. If you do Pilates on the mat or standing or both, you can do the hydro-Pilates class which focuses on core strength, flexibility, stretching and balance for a medium intensity workout. (I might consider doing this class in spring 2015.) You can always try water walking, which is a medium-high-workout of both the upper and lower body as well. It was designed to improve insurance and stamina. You can even go with the current for an easier walk or against it for resistance. If you want to take it to another level, to a high intensity class, there’s a deep water fitness class that used buoyancy belts with a focus on a cardio workout.
Swimming can be your back's best friend in heated or cool water to keep you active
Hydrotherapy for back pain poll
How would you use hydrotherapy for back pain?
Take a Swim
If aquatic physical therapy or water aerobics isn’t your thing, swimming can give you a pleasurable workout. Whether your gym has a heated pool or not, you can float, swim, and if they have a diving board, take a dive into the deep end. You can go at your pace and then enjoy the spa or whirlpool to relax and hit the sauna for a good break. You can always mix it up a bit and shake things up. As long as you abide by the open pool rules, you’ll have a good time. Make sure to bring a water bottle for every workout and to stay hydrated.
Have fun by getting fit and healthy in the pool, year-round! Take my word for it! I've been doing it for two weeks, (even doing my own post-therapy pool exercises when I can), when my back feels better by doing a little bit of this and that.