Recovering from an injury can be a long, slow and often painful process. In order to get full movement back to the affected area, you unfortunately have to move the affected area. No matter whether the injury is the result of an accident, a medical condition or overexertion, the road to recovery can be arduous. Hydrotherapy is a common path to take, so could an Endless Pools swim spa offer a less gruelling way to heal?
By delivering a fully customisable current against which you can swim, walk or do any other form of aquacise, and by offering this therapy in warm, temperature-controlled water, a swim spa offers the ideal rehabilitation and recovery conditions – a fact backed up by a wealth of science.
What is it exactly about a swim spa that makes it so effective for injury recovery? And how might an injured individual get the most out of their swim spa? In this article we’ll take a closer look at the physiological effects of the hydrotherapy and aquacise offered by swim spas, and how a recovering or rehabilitating individual can use these insights to their advantage.
Can a swim spa help with injuries?
Your body is a more incredible machine than it gets credit for. It is able to mend and rebuild tissues, including bones, muscles, joints and skin, in some cases making them stronger than they were prior to an injury. That said, the recovery process can be a taxing one – swelling and inflammation are generated to protect the injured area, but can add to the pain, and make it difficult to move.
Often measured movement is key to rehabilitation, particularly with soft tissue injuries. ‘Measured’ is the key word – go too hard too soon, and you’ll do more harm than good. But many exercises are inherently high impact, as your body has no choice but to fight gravity. Pounding the pavement during a run is far from an ideal form of recovery.
Enter the hydrotherapy offered by a swim spa.
With the buoyancy of the water reducing the weight that joints, bones, and muscles must bear, swimming in a swim spa pairs low impact exercise with a high range of movement. The aim of hydrotherapy in terms of musculoskeletal injuries is to hasten the restoration of function, decreasing pain, improving strength and flexibility, aiding the body’s natural healing processes, and improving confidence all the while. By offering aquacise against a gentle current in perfectly warm water, that’s exactly what an Endless Pools swim spa delivers.
Is swimming good for pain management?
Pain forms the major roadblock to injury recovery for most patients, because it stops much needed movement. To begin your rehabilitation journey you’ll need to address this issue, and doing aquacise in warm water is one effective way to do just that.
Immersing yourself in warm water triggers an instant physiological response from your body. As soft tissues like joints and muscles warm up, the surrounding blood vessels expand. This sees more oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood being circulated and delivered to the muscles and joints that are working to mend themselves, granting freer movement and less pain.
In essence this makes swimming in a swim spa a self-fulfilling pain management prophecy – the conditions reduce pain and allow you to move more easily, and the more you move the more pain is reduced. As mentioned above, this makes for ideal recovery and rehabilitation conditions, speeding up the process and getting you back to your best sooner.
Is a hot tub good for muscle recovery?
While the aquacise offered by an Endless Pools swim spa has been shown to assist in recovery and rehabilitation, what about a simple soak in a spa pool? While you might miss out on the aquacise and general movement that a swim spa offers, it turns out that immersion alone has a number of positive effects in terms of muscle relaxation and recovery.
The latent heat of a spa pool can lead to muscle relaxation and sedation – what this paper describes as a ‘direct analgesic effect’ caused by an elevation of beta-endorphin levels – allowing you to move more freely. Warm water immersion has been found to speed up muscle recovery following a stroke, and has also been found to help avoid injury in the first place: this study showed that immersing your legs in 44°C water for 45 minutes prior to exercise helped to reduce most of the indirect markers of exercise-induced muscle damage.
By choosing either a Hot Spring spa pool or an Endless Pools swim spa, you gain ultimate control over the temperature of your water, able to control it to a fraction of a degree. What’s more, innovative technology ensures that the water stays warm and ready for action whenever you are – our Energy Smart® System keeps the water primed for action – always hot, always ready – while keeping your energy bills low.
How does hydrotherapy help rehabilitation?
What is it about hydrotherapy that makes it so perfect for recovery and rehabilitation? There’s no single factor, but rather a host that work together to make it an effective approach.
Hydrotherapy makes rehabilitation more accessible. By counteracting gravity with buoyancy, it greatly reduces muscle and joint pain associated with tenderness, spasms and stress, while simultaneously increasing range of movement, balance, coordination and strength. This can all do wonders for your mentality toward your recovery, further hastening the process.
And whether you choose a simple daily soak in a Hot Spring spa pool, or the more complete rehabilitation proposition offered by an Endless Pools swim spa, you can be confident that your recovery journey will be less painful, faster and more fun than if you were to follow another path.