What is hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy is a treatment that uses water to treat certain pathologies, and is indicated either as a physical preparation for surgery or as a post-operative rehabilitation. It is only a few years since water rehabilitation has become an orthopedic and sports rehabilitation protocol, but it has been very well received by doctors and patients. Compared to rehabilitation performed in the gym, water-based rehabilitation allows greater control of the body, enabling the patient to perform even difficult exercises, such as resistance exercises, which strengthen joints and bones, and improve muscle tone, posture and balance.

Hydrotherapy is a treatment that uses water to treat certain pathologies.

What pathologies does it treat?

Hydrotherapy is indicated in case of:

  • Sprains
  • Dislocations
  • Fractures
  • Back pain
  • Hernia
  • Sciatica
  • Cervical or osteoarthritic pain
  • Low back pain
  • Advanced osteoporosis

It is also used to increase muscle tone before undergoing surgery and is indicated for people who are overweight or obese, and to prevent overtraining injuries in athletes.

The main contraindications for this type of rehabilitation therapy are:

  • Diabetes, especially if it is in advanced stage.
  • Ischemic heart disease
  • Fever
  • Incontinence
  • Skin infections and mycosis
  • Non-advanced osteoporosis

What does it consist of?

Generally, a cycle of hydrotherapy consists of two or three sessions per week, and the duration of the cycle may vary according to the patient’s condition. The curative effects of hydrotherapy are not attributable to the water itself, but to the effect on the body of thermal (cold and heat), chemical (by the use of preparations added to the water) and mechanical (less or more pressure on the extremities) stimuli.

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In general, in the course of rehabilitation the patient has to perform exercises very similar to those done in the gym, but a correct hydrotherapy program must take into account three basic principles: viscosity, hydrostatic pressure and buoyancy.

Preparation for hydrotherapy

In order to undergo hydrotherapy sessions, you must first consult your family doctor or an expert in orthopedics or physiotherapy who, after an evaluation of the patient’s physical condition and the goals that have been set, will advise you on a specific rehabilitation program.