Lower back pain is a common malady that many people suffer from. It takes different forms and can be caused by various medical conditions. Some people suffer back pain on account of general wear & tear, while in others, it’s caused by a slipped disc or even nerve damage. Regardless of what has caused the back pain, hydrotherapy is an excellent way to alleviate the pain and improve your quality of life.

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Understanding what Hydrotherapy is

It was Hippocrates, the Greek physician that first documented hydrotherapy way back in the 5th century B.C, to promote overall health & wellbeing. Since that time, it has come to be a very effective tool in the management of pain and in injury rehabilitation. In hydrotherapy, various water-based exercises are used to treat or manage a range of medical conditions.

It’s possible to perform hydrotherapy in almost any water body. However, it’s most commonly used in a pool setting. The most beneficial temperature range for this treatment is around 32-37°C as it provides optimum pain relief. Hydrotherapy is also called aquatic therapy or water therapy.

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How is it done?

In hydrotherapy, the natural buoyancy of the body is used in combination with the water’s relative density, to reduce the pressure that your body exerts via the spinal cord. Envision this – when you’re standing right up to your chest in water, you are only bearing around 25% of your body weight.

It means your vertebrae have to work less while supporting your body weight. When this pressure is taken off your joints, it gives you the scope to strengthen your back and neck muscles, without causing any pain (like what you would feel if you were exercising on any land-based setting).

A number of exercises and treatments are included in water-therapy exercise programs; many of these can be specially designed to provide relief from neck & lower back pain. Apart from this, they also help strengthen and condition the muscles in these areas, which prevent the problem from recurring.

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Hydrotherapy helps in conditions such as

There are times when it’s not possible for a person to follow a land-based exercise program; this could be because of reduced bone density, intensity of pain, disability and other factors. In these cases, water-based exercise therapy becomes very beneficial. This therapy has proved to be particularly helpful in conditions such as:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Spinal Osteoarthritis
  • Muscle strain/tears
  • Advanced osteoporosis

Apart from this, hydrotherapy is also often recommended to treat people with high blood pressure or diabetes. It’s possible to improve and manage these conditions using aquatic exercises.

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Why Exercising in water helps

Anyone with the above mentioned conditions may find it very difficult to exercise on hard/padded surfaces and water provides the cushioning the body needs. This is because water:

  • Is buoyant – helps your body defy gravity; using floats helps add buoyancy to the body
  • Is viscous in nature and provides resistance via gentle friction
  • Has hydrostatic pressure that helps improve lung and heart function. This also helps improve the flow of blood to the muscles

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The Beneficial Exercise Plan

Because of all these properties of water, it’s possible to develop an exercise plan that reduces the weight that’s placed on the spine; in turn this reduces the risk of injuries caused by various unintended movements when a person is exercising. The warmth of the water and the relaxing sounds also help in creating a very therapeutic environment.

For any more information about how you can avoid neck and low back pain, call New Body Physiotherapy and Postural Management at this number – 02 9958 2277. You can also use this contact us form to connect with us.

Best Regards,
Corey Iskenderian