Hydrotherapy is the application of controlled physiotherapy and prescriptive exercise delivered in an aquatic environment. Using a limited weight bearing environment with a greater intensity compared to air, the properties of water can benefit proprioception, range of motion, functionality, core strength and gait.
Why use an Underwater Treadmill?
We use an underwater treadmill as opposed to a traditional pool because this encourages a normal gait pattern with the speed, resistance and water depth all controlled by the therapist. By using heated sanitised water we are also incorporating thermal therapy, which helps to increase blood and lymph flow as well as providing a relaxing environment for the animal.
An underwater treadmill can be used to provide therapy in the form of gait patterning and sequencing, static and dynamic balance work, controlled exercise as well as practice of standing, walking and swimming. This can be tailored to be either low or high intensity, depending upon the reason for referral.
Benefits of Hydrotherapy
• Increased range of movement of joints
• Improved proprioception
• Aids muscle strengthening,
• Reduced weight bearing on injured tissues
• Improved cardiovascular fitness
• Increases speed of recovery
• Aids weight reduction
• Improves circulation and lymphatic drainage
• Decreases swelling and joint effusion
• Aids transition to land based exercises
The conditions which may benefit from hydrotherapy are extensive and include:
- Hip Dysplasia – pre and post-operative
- Elbow Dysplasia – pre and post-operative
- Legg- Calve- Perthes disease
- Cranial Cruciate Ligament Rupture – Pre and post-operative
- Patella Luxation – pre and post op
- Post-operative fracture repair
- Soft Tissue (Muscle/Tendon) Injuries
- Spinal injuries – to include intervertebral disc disease and spondylosis
- Fibrocartilaginous embolisms
- Cervical Malformation syndrome (wobblers)
- Chronic Degenerative Rediculomyelopathy (CDRM)
- Osteochondritis Dessecans (OCD)
- Limb amputation
- Strength and conditioning for working/sporting dogs