Chronic Pain & Hydrotherapy

Our Exercise Physiology team explains what chronic pain is and how it can be alleviated through hydrotherapy.

What is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is symptoms of pain that lasts weeks to years, typically longer than 3 months. Pain is a dynamic and complex condition that is the result of several factors.

The association between nociceptive activity and pain perception depends on several intrinsic and extrinsic influences. Chronic pain can limit an individual’s capacity to participate in regular exercise and hence reduce their overall quality of life.

What Is Hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy is a type of rehabilitation performed in heated water to assist in recovery. It is a form of exercise in warm water and is a popular treatment for patients with neurologic and musculoskeletal conditions.

Typically, hydrotherapy pools sit between 33-36 degrees.

How Can Hydrotherapy Help Pain?

Hydrotherapy is also commonly used to treat chronic pain for relief of pain symptoms experienced. Hydrotherapy has four main aspects that make the treatment effective: buoyancy, hydrostatic pressure, thermal condition, and hydrodynamic drag forces.

Hydrotherapy involves sensory motor hyperstimulation exerted from the hydrostatic pressure, viscosity, and water temperature increases the triggers of thermal receptors and mechanoreceptors while blocking nociceptors.

Furthermore, Hydrotherapy helps to reintroduce movement and desensitise the body in a safe environment. Hydrotherapy allows compression and weight to be relieved during exercise, making it manageable for persistent pain individuals.

Also, immersion in water helps to increase blood flow and oxygen supply, improving the removal of catabolites and thereby reducing signal molecules responsible for the activation of nociceptors.

Hydrotherapy is an effective way to help improve confidence with exercise when individuals are restricted with movements. Supervised exercises within the water help to increase independence and confidence to increase exercise capacity in a safe way.

Our Exercise Physiologists can work with you to build an exercise program specifically to improve your symptoms of pain, fatigue levels, and overall quality of life. Get in touch with the team today to see how they can help YOU.