Hydrotherapy has been in practice for centuries as it offers a simple and painless treatment for many ailments. Water has the ability to relax muscles and help them regain their lost strength. Injuries to the knee can be treated particularly well by hydrotherapy as the flex of muscles and is not as hindered by water as much. Moreover, water has a tendency to build up muscle strength. The various properties of water is utilised by practitioners of hydrotherapy.
Some hydrotherapy exercises particularly useful for knees are:
Walking – This is the simplest exercise which you can perform in waist-deep water. As knee muscles and joints are used in every step that you take, knees are benefitted a lot. They buoyancy of water cushions the knees from the normal high impact when one walks on solid ground. Walking and raising the muscles up high would help in working the joint muscles even more. Jogging after wearing an aqua belt so that you float in water reduces the impact even more.
Knee exercises – You can practice knee bends, knee swings, knee pushes and knee raises. Bend your right knee while you bring your right foot behind the body. This would exercise the upper thigh muscles. Push items in the water with your foot to strengthen your knee with the low impact exercise. Form a 90 degree angle to the ground after raising your left leg. Now, swing your right foot across the front of your body in both directions.
Soak in warm water – Warm water has the distinct property of relaxing your muscles. It can be gainfully utilised by people suffering from knee injury caused by arthritis or otherwise. You just need to get bucket or any other container which allows them to soak their legs up to the knees. Soak the knees in water for 15-20 minutes daily to get relief from knee pain. Add bath salt or oils such as chamomile to further the relaxation and prevent contractions and pain. If your injury is acute, wait till the swelling subsides before trying this exercise.
Knee extension – You need a swimming pool for these exercises. Hold on to the edge of the swimming pool while standing in the pool, legs completely immersed. Raise one of your legs, bending the knees at 45 degrees and then relax it back to the starting position. Doing this exercise for both the legs for half an hour daily would allow for more exertion without pain.
Hydrotherapy is especially beneficial for patients of joint pain and arthritis as hot water exercises increase blood circulation, and the water’s buoyancy supports the joints and allows for exercises without applying pressure.
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