Healing and Hydrotherapy for DVA Clients
Hydrotherapy is a type of treatment that I use while working as a Physiotherapist at Allied Connect. Hydrotherapy is one of the oldest forms of treatment and involves the use of heated water (33-34 degrees Celsius) to soothe away pains and promote physical well-being through exercise.
The benefits of commencing an exercise program in a pool includes:
- Progress weight bearing status
- Improves stability
- Provides resistance for strengthening exercises
- Promotes circulation
- Increases joint range of motion
- Helps muscle relaxation
- Decreases pain.
Some common chronic conditions and diseases that will benefit from Hydro include the following:
- Musculoskeletal disorders (injuries to muscles / joints)
- Post-surgery (Hip replacement, Knee replacement etc.)
- Neurological conditions (muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s disease etc.)
- Respiratory disorders (COPD)
- Cardiovascular events (Heart failure, Stroke etc.)
- Falls prevention for deconditioned clients
Now let’s take a look at a client that I prescribed a water based program to:
Client 1, let’s call him Steve: Stroke
What is a stroke? A stroke occurs when a blood vessel to the brain is suddenly blocked or bleeds. As a result brain function may be lost and activities such as movement, balance, thinking and communication are often impaired.
Steve’s main concerns are: left sided weakness, reduced balance and increased tightness in left arm. Steve is able to practice walking without an aid in the water at different levels of difficulty. This is completed by walking at different depths of water e.g. chest deep is 25% weight bearing and hip deep is 50% weight bearing. The warm water also helps his muscles to relax which allows him to perform increased joint movement compared to a land based exercise program. In addition, one of Steve’s main goals was to experience the sensation of running again. Hydrotherapy has allowed him to attempt this in a safe environment due to the viscosity of water slowing down movement.