Individual and group sessions available weekly at an off site location of Ocean Fitness a state of the art facility in Galway. Open to all patients of the practice for general mobility as well as recovery of post-operative conditions, degenerative joint/ spinal conditions and limited mobility conditions. Supervised, hands on and specific to each individual after a pre-pool assessment and screening in our clinic.
The concept of using water to aid healing has been around for thousands of years, even as far back as the ancient Greeks and Romans. Hydrotherapy is rehabilitation carried out in water, usually of standing depth so it is not required that patients are proficient swimmers to take part. It is used successfully for a variety of chronic and acute injuries to aid mobility, allow increased ability to move joints and to strengthen muscles.
Advantages of Hydrotherapy
The unique properties of water mean that when the body is submerged, the floating effect reduces the gravitational forces on the joints of the body, and in the case of lower back pain, the intervertebral discs. Water increases the proprioceptive feedback from the skin and can help reduce peripheral nerve sensitivity. It also helps increase peripheral circulation. The warmth of the water allows muscles to relax and help reduce spasm, which can inhibit or restrict movement. The resistance of the water helps to strengthen muscles and this resistance is directly proportional to the speed at which the movement is carried out – i.e. to generate more resistance and increase strength building effect on the muscles the action must be carried out faster in the water. Water also has a hydrostatic effect which feels like a massage-like effect as the water gently kneads the body.
Thera Fitness Classes
Our classes last for 60 minutes and are broken up into several key areas. The start of the session always includes several minutes of walking in the water with or without support. This allows patients to get used to the feeling of the water, the effect of the buoyancy and also allows the muscles to get moving and warm up. We then do a general mobility section of the class using the water to aid movements for some exercises and act as resistance for others. Floats are added in as required to increase the resistance in some cases and off-load muscles and help stretch tissues and joints. Flexibility is also a key component of our class and we use the heat of the water and the added joint range people are able to obtain to facilitate a more effective stretching programme. Finally for those who are comfortable we use the floats to allow the participants to float and off-load joints fully while still working their muscles, especially their core and balance centres.
It is not required that patients who take part in our hydrotherapy sessions are proficient swimmers although it is advised that they do not have a fear of being in the water as it would reduce the relaxation effect which can be achieved. Extra flotation devices can be supplied for patients who require extra support to help confidence levels.
Extra flotation devices may also be used for post-surgical patients who are restricted in how much weight they can take through their operated limb. These can be hand-held or hydrotherapy belts can be strapped around the waist to increase the buoyancy effect