Aquatic physiotherapy is one of the techniques used for sport rehabilitation.
The feature of water that makes it particularly suitable for sport rehabilitation is the fact that in water the weight of the body is reduced, up to 90% when the immersion reaches the level of shoulders. The lightness of the body in comparison with its weight out of water implies that the weight sustained by joints is minor. This is the result of Archimedes’ principle, stating that any body fully or partially submerged in a fluid at rest is acted upon by and upward force, the magnitude of which is equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the body.
The resistance of water
Another important aspect is the greatest density of water in comparison with air. The outcome is the resistance of water to the movements inside of it and the subsequent straightening of muscles.
Finally, also the hydrostatic pressure has positive effects for balance and proprioception, empowering the capacity of control of the body.
Hydrotherapy can prove useful both in the stage of physical training preceding the surgery and in the one following it, during which it is used for the re-education of the body.
In effect, during this phase dry workout is inadvisable, because of the risks it provides. Instead, aquatic physiotherapy allows a safer and quicker recovery of mobility in comparison with training out of water.
Aquatic physiotherapy for orthopaedic diseases
Aquatic physiotherapy is particularly suitable also for orthopaedic diseases, such as herniated disc, dislocations and backache, and neurological diseases, for example Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and paraplegic patients.
Fundamental is also the temperature of water in hydrotherapy’s pools; it is usually higher compared to traditional pools, because the vasodilation resulting from heat allows the improvement of oxygenation of tissue. For this reason, aquatic physiotherapy is useful also in case of chronic irritations, such as lumbago.