What Cardiovascular and Pulmonary conditions may benefit from hydrotherapy?
Any patient diagnosed with a longstanding cardiovascular or pulmonary condition would benefit from the inclusion of hydrotherapy within their rehabilitation programme. Cardiovascular and pulmonary conditions hydrotherapy helps with include:
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Heart failure
- Following Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
- Following heart or lung surgery
Hydrotherapy may prove to be particularly advantageous in people who find exercise on land a challenge due to pain or restriction. This group of people may present with a cardiovascular or pulmonary condition coupled with a musculoskeletal complication such as:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Following recent surgery
- Lower back pain
- Recent ankle sprain or any other painful lower limb injury
What are the aims of hydrotherapy for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Conditions?
Hydrotherapy may be used as part of a pulmonary rehabilitation or cardiac rehabilitation programme. Hydrotherapy provides a unique supportive environment in which people with multiple medical conditions are able to exercise with a reduced amount of pain. At Physio.co.uk, our team of experienced physiotherapists will create a programme to meet the requirements of each individual in order to encompass the aims of rehabilitation:
- Improve exercise tolerance
- Decrease incidence of dyspnoea (shortness of breath)
- Increase quality of life, and sense of wellbeing
- Strengthen muscles
- Enhance patients’ knowledge and awareness so they are better able to deal with their condition on an everyday basis.
- Decrease pain
- Improve function
What are the advantages of hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy will be particularly advantageous for those patients with a cardiovascular or respiratory disease coupled with a condition that limits mobility, or causes considerable pain during exercise. These advantages can be attributed to the physical principles behind hydrotherapy:
- Heating effect – The warm water helps to relax muscles, reduce spasm, and ease pain
- Buoyancy effect – As the water supports the body, stress on weight-bearing joints is relieved, this means exercise seems to take less effort, meaning breathlessness takes longer to set in.
What does hydrotherapy involve?
An initial land-based assessment will be carried out by an experienced physiotherapist to determine whether or not hydrotherapy is likely to be beneficial. This assessment will enable the physiotherapist to identify current level of exercise tolerance, any weaknesses that needs working on, and which movements usually cause pain. The assessment will also include the setting of personal goals.
Hydrotherapy may be used as part of a pulmonary rehabilitation or cardiac rehabilitation programme in patients who struggle to exercise at a high enough intensity on land for it to be beneficial, this could be due to pain or limited mobility. Hydrotherapy may be used as a one-off adjunct to your rehabilitation programme, or may form a substantial section.
During your hydrotherapy session, one of our physiotherapists will accompany you in the water, and teach you a number of exercises to increase your endurance. The exercises chosen will take into account the principles of water, and use them to gain maximal benefit. Exercises are likely to include walking lengths, strength building exercises for your legs, and functional movements such as reaching which will be advantageous within your home. Our physiotherapists will work with you to perfect each exercise, and progress them should they feel they are getting to easy. Your respiratory / cardiac function will be monitored throughout each session.
Here at Physio.co.uk, our physiotherapists look forward to being able to provide a fully personalised programme to enhance quality of life. Physio.co.uk provides a high-quality service to suit the majority, this achieved through:
- No waiting lists,
- Flexible appointment times,
- Private state-of-the-art fully accessible hydrotherapy facility,
- Experienced physiotherapists will work with you to achieve the goals you value,
- Our ability to include hydrotherapy in cardiac rehabilitation or pulmonary rehabilitation, for a number of patients, this will provide the opportunity to overcome the pain barrier that stands in the way of exercise vital to enhance endurance.