When water’s properties are combined with a water temperature of 92 degrees, you have the optimum conditions for healing and recovering from injury, surgery or chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis. A swimming pool does not offer the benefit of a therapeutic water temperature. Rather, this type of therapy must occur in a warm water therapy pool, like the HydroWorx™ therapy pools Meth-Wick recently installed at The Woodlands.
The benefits of warm water therapy include:
- Faster recovery from surgery or injury
- Increased flexibility
- Increased range of motion
- Greater cardiovascular endurance
Water’s buoyancy reduces the amount of pressure and weight bearing a patient can feel in their joints. Physical therapists use the properties of buoyancy to assist in exercise, support a movement or as resistance to a movement—all depending on whether the patient’s movements are perpendicular to the water’s surface or downward, against bouyancy’s upward push.
Hydrostatic pressure is another beneficial characteristic of water that aids in physical therapy. Simply stated, hydrostatic pressure asserts the same amount of pressure from all directions, which decreases inflammation.
Research confirms aquatic benefits
While physical therapists and doctors have long believed in water’s healing benefits, a growing body of research bolsters the evidence. In one study, a group of 71 patients, who had been diagnosed with hip or knee osteoarthritis, was divided into two groups: one received water therapy, the other did not. After six weeks, the patients in the two groups were evaluated. The water therapy patients gained significant improvement over the non-therapy patients in all areas: pain reduction; increased muscle strength and physical function, and quality of life.
In addition to the inherent benefits of water’s properties, maintaining a warm water temperature of 92 degrees Fahrenheit provides the added benefit of increased circulation to muscles, which makes them easier and less painful to move.
Therapy tools boost progress
Physical therapists often use water-related “tools” to assist their patients in recovery. Underwater treadmills can help patients normalize their walking gait, enhance mobility and improve walking endurance. Underwater jets can be activated to provide resistance to walking on the treadmill, a benefit to a patient who has progressed to a point in water therapy where they need more physical challenge. These jets can also be directed at a specific area to increase blood flow, relieve pain and “loosen” a tight muscle. Water dumbbells and flotation aids are also used to provide a variety of therapeutic movements that can be tailored to the needs of each patient.
Meth-Wick’s Therapy Pools
Warm water therapy is now at Meth-Wick Community! Please join us anytime between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Friday, June 10, for a tour of our new therapy pools at The Woodlands. You’ll also have the chance to experience our new health-enhancing light system and neighborhood philosophy—all designed to help our residents live their best life. We look forward to seeing you there!