Rehabilitation in spa water.
Hydrokinesi is a natural therapy, effective for the recovery of wellbeing and the functions of the locomotor apparatus, reducing recovery times for joints that are traumatised.
Done in the swimming pool, where about 90% of body weight is lightened, it grants a gentle and gradual recovery through exercises with a great deal of benefits and with little effort.
Within kinesitherapy, a special mention should be made for thermal hydrokinesitherapy, which allows the combination of the chemical-physical effects of thermal mineral water with the advantages of the therapeutic exercise performed while the patient is immersed; this rehabilitative method is largely used for treating the osteo-articular pathologies. Generally, the session of hydro-kinesi-therapeutic treatment for a patient with muscle-skeleton disabilities lasts from 40 to 60 minutes according to the patient’s conditions; the main objectives are to make the patient move, reduce pain and muscular contracture, strengthen muscles, re-educate the functional recovery of the voluntary movement and finally stimulate coordination and balance. The thermal therapeutic effect caused by the immersion in thermal water reduces the muscular contracture and pain through a specific action on the sensitive cutaneous receptors, causing vessel dilation at the cutaneous and muscular level, which facilitates oxygenation and cellular metabolism. The higher hydrostatic pressure, due to immersion, facilitates the centripetal drainage of swollen and/or edematous areas. The increase of the tactile and proprioceptive afferences produced by the mobilization increases the perception of the limb position and stimulates coordination and balance. The floating push, which supports the body, relaxes the muscles and relieves pain; this allows patients to move more easily and increase the series and duration of therapeutic movements. Even walking can be re-educated successfully in water: taking advantage of the alternation of the forces that act on the centre of gravity and on the centre of floating, it is possible to reproduce efficient walking without weighing on the limbs; this is particularly useful when it is necessary to “save” a joint as well as increase muscular trophism. As concerns the use of physical therapies (electrotherapy, magneto-therapy, ultrasound therapy, etc.), it should be remembered that they can complete the effects of the thermal therapy during the rehabilitation process that happens, for example, during the new acute phases during which the thermal therapy is contra indicated but is necessary to keep the therapeutic continuity.
WHAT IT IS
Hydrokinesitherapy takes advantage of the therapeutic goals of water’s physical properties. If we consider that, in water, the weight of the body is lighter by 85-90%, we can easily understand how it is possible to perform rehabilitation exercises with less physical effort and less fatigue and to obtain better rehabilitation results in shorter time. Don’t confuse hydrokinesitherapy with water gymnastics; in this case, the person takes advantage of the water mass during the exercises to use the muscles’ full potential; on the contrary, with hydrokinesitherapy, water makes the rehabilitation movements easier and smoother.
Thermal hydrokinesitherapy uses mineral water with particular characteristics identifiable in terms of chemical composition and of temperature, making the practice of hydrokinesitherapy even more efficient because the chemical composition and temperature make the physical exercises softer and more gradual while accelerating the recovery.
Water from the Terme Euganee has a chemical composition of sodium, bromine and iodine. It naturally flows at about 90° C while underground for about 100 km at depths of 3,000 meter, sometimes reaching temperatures of 200° C; then, while it is going up to the soil, it cools down up to 87° C. During its course, water becomes enriched with mineral salts essential for the production of the particular micro-flora that characterizes the mud of Abano and Montegrotto spas.
TO WHOM IT IS RECOMMENDED
Thermal hydrokinesitherapy is recommended to people with a reduced tonus and muscular trophism, which causes a diminution of the muscle and, as a consequence, of its strength. This may occur after a trauma, a surgical intervention or after long periods in bed. Thermal hydrokinesitherapy gives strength back to those subjects. It is also indicated for those who suffer from arthritis, neurological disturbances (such as neuropathic pain, for example). In short, hydrokinesitherapy can be applied in all cases where the subject has difficulties moving on the ground.
Also, the swimming-pool combines fun and relaxation to its therapeutic effects and adds the benefits of warm thermal water to those of physical exercise, improving articular mobility while helping one to walk thanks to the reduction of pain and spastic contraction of the muscle.
This is one of the cases, although they are numberless in the thermal water world, where natural therapy is efficient and allows the quick recovery and maintenance of the limbs’ functionality, as well as a reduced recovery time of the joints, which have been immobilized for long time.