Benefits of Hydrotherapy
- Non weight bearing exercise
- Relief from pain, swelling and stiffness
- Promotion of relaxation
- Joint mobilisation
- Cardiovascular fitness (heart and lungs)
- Muscle strengthening, maintenance & restoration
- Increase in range of motion of affected joints
- Improved circulation
Unlike rivers, canals or reservoirs, which is not the same as hydrotherapy our pool is kept at a constant 28-30 degrees. The encompassing warmth of the water will relax muscles by initiating an expansion of surface blood vessels and increasing the skin temperature which can bring about a decrease in pain and muscle spasm. A decreased range of motion can often be due to pain, swelling or stiffness. Stiffness can be eased as the warmth of the water causes blood vessels to expand. This is a process known as vasodilation.
Even standing in the water, you will see how much more comfortable the animal seems as the water has taken most of the weight off their joints.
Hydrostatic pressure is the pressure applied by water on an immersed body and can assist in reducing swelling or swollen joints and oedematous tissue. It stops the tendency of blood and oedema to pool in the lower parts of the body. This is assisted by exercising the limbs to enhance circulation. Hydrostatic pressure can also decrease pain perception which will allow the dog to move more effectively in the water with less pain.
Buoyancy aids in the rehabilitation of weak muscles and reduces the load on weight bearing and painful joints, this helps reduce pain which allows the dog to exercise and move with ease. The dog will have a increased range of motion when it is in the water due to reduction in pain and swelling.
Viscosity can assist in stabilising an unstable joint, so it does the job a bandage would do. Buoyancy and viscosity prevent the dog falling by increasing the time span for the dog to react, this can make the dog more confident and willing to move in the water.