Hydrotherapy can be traced back to the Roman empire and has been a staple of good health ever since. Why? Well, put quite simply, because it works. Soaking in water so they can feel better and get back to their lives. Utilizing the therapeutic properties of water is one of the oldest methods used for pain relief and has stood the test of time. Ironically, today it is often thought of as some sort of newfangled modern treatment option.

What Is Hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy, which is also referred to as aquatic therapy, uses the many healing properties of water to treat disease, promote good health, and relieve pain. When treating disease processes with hydrotherapy, water can be used in any of its three forms: liquid, solid (ice), or gas (steam). In addition to varying the form of the water, hydrotherapy varies the temperature and pressure of the water used in treatment as well. This way, patients are able to get the most therapeutic results.

Benefits of hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy has many benefits as a treatment for a wide array of painful conditions. It comes as no surprise that water can ease the pain of a muscle injury, but there are a multitude of conditions that can benefit from water and its healing properties. Water can even make exercise possible for patients who are unable to exercise under normal circumstances. Because water provides buoyancy, patients who submerge themselves in a pool can perform weight-bearing exercises that would be difficult or impossible on dry land. The many benefits of aquatic therapy include:

  • Decrease in pain
  • Decrease in muscle spasms
  • Increase of joint range of motion
  • Increase in muscle strength
  • Better circulation
  • Improved balance
  • Improved coordination
  • Paralysed muscles re-educated

Hydrotherapy Pool

As aquatic therapy has gained popularity as a way to treat various medical conditions and maintain good health, more and more places have installed hydrotherapy pools. Many health centers, gyms and fitness centers, hospitals, physical therapists, and spas have pools in their facilities. Private pools that feature jets and treadmill options have also become popular in recent years as people have started to realize just how big of an impact water can truly have on their health, and consequently, their lives in general.

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Hydrotherapy for Pain

Aquatic therapy treats a wide array of painful conditions. Whether you are trying to rehabilitate yourself from an injury to a muscle or are trying to maintain your health while living with a chronic illness such as multiple sclerosis or arthritis, hydrotherapy may be the answer you are searching for. A few of the many conditions that can be effectively treated with aquatic therapy include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Back pain
  • Musculoskeletal conditions – such as sprains, strains, etc
  • Surgery rehabilitation – such as joint replacements
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Neurological conditions – such as Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinsons Disease etc
  • Stroke recovery
  • Traumatic brain injury recovery

Colon Hydrotherapy

Pain relief isn’t the only thing water has to offer the human body. Colon hydrotherapy uses warm water to rinse the inside of the colon. Treatments remove excess fecal matter, gas, and other toxins. Called colonics, these treatments can help the body absorb nutrients better and promote a feeling of rejuvenation. Colonics are quite safe. However, only a qualified professional should perform the procedure. The benefits of colonics include:

  • Increased energy
  • Improved circulation
  • Clearer skin & eyes
  • Mental clarity
  • Weight normalizing
  • Better digestion
  • Relief from bloating

If you are considering colon hydrotherapy, how often you should undergo the procedure is probably a question you are asking. When first starting, try an initial course of three treatments performed over a two to three week period.

Hydrotherapy Options Near Me

As always, the best place to start your search for hydrotherapy options in your area is with your doctor. If you have a chronic illness or are recovering from an injury, you may benefit from aquatic therapy with a licensed physical therapist. If you are looking for fewer medical options, begin by calling or researching your local health and fitness centers or gyms on the internet. Often, YMCAs and other institutions like them will have a pool and/or spa facilities available for their members to use. Be aware that they may not refer to their offerings as “hydrotherapy.” Instead, they may have various water aerobics classes that will meet your needs.

At Home Options

If you are unable to find a pool in your area, you are still able to get some of the benefits of aquatic therapy in your own home. The most primitive form of hydrotherapy is just soaking in a hot bathtub, which is beneficial when you are trying to relieve pain and relax your muscles. Add some Epsom salts or other bath soaks to take your relaxing soaking/bathing to the next level. If your tub is deep enough, you may even be able to perform some pain specific exercises in your tub.

The Answer You’ve Been Waiting For

Hydrotherapy could very well be the answer you’ve been searching for. Water has been used to relieve pain since the time of the Romans for a reason. Although we seem to have somehow forgotten just how beneficial water can be, modern times has seen a resurgence in natural remedies and hydrotherapy is no exception. Whether you are trying to relax muscle spasms in your back that cause you pain or are recovering from a knee surgery that prevents you from exercising while bearing weight, aquatic therapy can help. So find a pool and use the healing powers of water to take your life back today.

Featured image CC by A-SA 3.0 unported, by redboxdesigngroup, via Wikimedia Commons

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