HYDROTHERAPY – UNDERWATER TREADMILL AND SWIMMING
Muscle atrophy begins within 24-48 hours following injury/surgery. When rehabilitation is delayed, there is increased swelling due to lack of movement, loss of muscle control and joint stability and increased stiffness of muscles and tendons. Full weight-bearing activities are often limited following surgery, which extends the patient’s recovery time. Hydrotherapy allows rehabilitation to begin immediately or very soon post-surgery/injury.
Hydrotherapy provides the ability to strengthen the patient’s muscles in an environment of little to no pressure on the joints, due to the buoyancy of the water. The warm water helps increase blood circulation, increases flexibility of muscles, joints and relieves pain. Water resistance helps to build muscle mass, strengthen limbs, and provide a cardiovascular workout.
Geriatric, post-surgical and obese animals can exercise without injury for longer periods of time in water than they can on land. The geriatric patient can rebuild muscle mass and prevent muscle atrophy, the post-surgical patient can have an earlier return to exercise and thus full function, and an overweight animal will experience a decrease in weight and an increase in overall fitness. Most patients, even if uncertain about being in water, typically accept hydrotherapy after 1-2 sessions without any problem. We are always in the water with your pet regardless.
Advantages of Hydrotherapy:
- Working more muscle groups simultaneously
- Decreases post-surgery/injury recovery time and minimizes post-exercise muscle soreness
- Water provides resistance throughout the range of motion, providing a closed chain, hydrokinetic exercise
- Permitting longer than normal training periods
- Water buoyancy reduces gravity, diminishing concussive forces, thus reducing stress on joints
- Allows early intervention and quicker recovery times
- Warm water assists in pain reduction
- Geriatric patients can exercise effectively
- Decreases the risk of overheating
- With the Underwater Treadmill, water height is regulated to accommodate different sized animals and adjusted for weight bearing.