Derived from the Greek words hudōr (water) and therapeia (healing), hydrotherapy (also known as aquatic therapy) is a method that is used to treat a variety of different bodily ailments. We recently began incorporating hydrotherapy into our ScolioGold method for scoliosis treatment, and today we'd like to take some time to tell you a little more about it.
If you suffer from back pain due to scoliosis - but you’re worried that your reduced flexibility and mobility might hinder you in an exercise-based treatment setting - hydrotherapy is a great solution. Being immersed in water provides support for your body and creates a feeling of well-being without the intensity of land-based exercise.
How does hydrotherapy work?
Hydrotherapy combines physical rehabilitation treatments with the natural benefits of water-based exercise. The result is a gentle but efficient scoliosis treatment method.
Water has five key properties that play a large part in the effectiveness of hydrotherapy treatment:
- Buoyancy – The upward pressure in the water eases stress on muscles and joints, soothing the aches and pains that scoliosis can cause.
- Temperature – Warm water is known for soothing and relaxing the body.
- Viscosity – The 'thickness' of water prompts gentle resistance from the muscles.
- Turbulence – When placed in moving water, the body naturally moves to maintain balance, exercising the muscles.
- Hydrostatic Pressure – Hydrostatic pressure provides a natural relief for joint swelling.
What are the benefits of hydrotherapy treatment for scoliosis?
The main benefit of hydrotherapy is that flexibility and mobility are no longer an issue. As mentioned above, the gentle pressure and buoyancy provided by water naturally soothe pain and allow the patient to exercise while at ease.
Pain is often dramatically reduced by hydrotherapy, and as a result of this, patients with limited mobility are able to achieve fantastic results through stretching in the water. These stretches strengthen the muscles in the back and can help improve the degree of the curvature. If patients choose, they can also combine hydrotherapy with land-based therapy on one of our ScolioGold courses.
Another benefit of hydrotherapy treatment for scoliosis is that it offers more stability and protection from falls for those who struggle with balance. This is a great confidence boost for many patients.
There are many other benefits of using hydrotherapy treatment for scoliosis, including:
- Pain relief from muscle spasms
- Ease of movement
- Increased joint range and flexibility
- Improved strength and endurance
- Reduction of oedema (excess watery fluid in cavities or tissue in the body)
- Improved circulation
- Better cardiovascular fitness
- Increased level of relaxation
Who can participate in hydrotherapy treatment?
Hydrotherapy is suitable for scoliosis sufferers of all ages. The healing and support provided make it an ideal method of treatment for those who lack confidence when it comes to more traditional forms of exercise. As mentioned above, stability is not an issue for elderly or less mobile patients, as the water allows them to exercise without fear of falling.
Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we have had fantastic feedback from our hydrotherapy treatment sessions to date. We have found that it has offered hope to those patients who thought they would have to deal with their pain for the rest of their lives. Many of these patients did not think they would be able to improve their condition through exercise, but hydrotherapy treatment has provided them with that opportunity.
If you think hydrotherapy treatment might be beneficial for you, please contact Scoliosis SOS today to book an initial consultation.