Five Hydrotherapy Exercises
Exercise is vital for managing chronic pain; however, many exercise programs are too vigorous and sometimes increase pain rather than reduce it. Hydrotherapy involves swimming and water exercises that help to strengthen muscles without unnecessary strain. Due to viscosity, hydrostatic pressure, and buoyancy, water exercises offer little resistance. Water supports weak muscles and also increases flexibility and range of motion. Hydrotherapy offers a comfortable alternative for people who want to exercise while also managing chronic pain.
While holding the side of the pool with one hand, stand and slightly bend the leg closest to the pool wall while extending the other leg straight in front of the body. The supporting leg should be slightly bent. Raise the extended leg slowly. Bring it back down. Repeat on the other side.
While doing a leg raise, bring the knee of the outstretched leg up to the chest and then straighten it back out in front of the body. Repeat on the other side.
3. Wall-facing leg stretch
Face the pool wall and rest your arms on the side of the pool in a flying “Superman” position. Extend the legs behind you supported by the water.
Stand in chest-high water and walk forward and backward around the pool. Use pool hand weights to make it challenging.
Float on the back and make paddling motions with the legs and arms. A flotation device or therapist may be needed during this exercise to support the trunk of the body.
These five exercises, when done in water, strengthen muscles and increase flexibility.