Hydrotherapy is a therapeutic method of pain relief and treatment using hot water. Because hot water can help reduce pain and improve motion, physiotherapists and occupational therapists sometimes encourage post-operative patients to consider hydrotherapy as a form of rehabilitation. With a therapist’s guidance, you can work to repair and regain your pre-surgery body in the comfort of your hot tub.
Therapists often recommend hydrotherapy in hot tubs after specific orthopedic surgeries, such as hip and knee replacements, post fractures, and multi-traumas, among others. However, if you’ve recently undergone surgery, first speak with your doctor before turning to hydrotherapy. In some cases, there is a time frame between your surgery and when it is safe to use a hot tub, and hydrotherapy may worsen your conditions if you dip too soon. Once your doctor gives you the okay, meet with a trained therapist to ensure you safely incorporate hydrotherapy into your rehabilitation routine.
Buoyancy is one of the major reasons why hydrotherapy is so beneficial. Because the buoyancy of the water causes you to float, it reduces gravity’s pressure on your muscles and joints, which can help to relieve your post-surgery pain.
Warm Water Benefits
Warm water encourages vasodilation, which increases blood flow to muscles and removes cell wastes. This process moves oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and helps reduce pain and tension. Furthermore, your improved circulation may also help with your range of motion.
The combination of the buoyancy and warm water allows you to move, stretch, and exercise your muscles and joints with more ease. The water’s resistance also improves your muscle strength and flexibility. To top it all off, the hot tub’s jets target specific muscles and restore and stimulate new tissue growth.
Though hydrotherapy can be extremely beneficial to getting you back to your pre-operative self, it’s important to follow doctor’s orders and speak with professionals regarding hot tub use prior to hopping in the spa.