The Benefits of an Underwater Treadmill

The Benefits of an Underwater Treadmill

underwater treadmill

The Benefits of an Underwater Treadmill

Whether you’re training for a marathon or recovering from an injury, a treadmill pool is the perfect tool to help you achieve your fitness goals.

Underwater treadmills have been used by athletes and physical therapists alike to enhance muscle strength, improve balance and reduce joint pain. They’re also a great option for aging patients who may be reluctant to work out due to their fear of falling.

Reduces Joint Stress

Physical therapists and athletes alike are discovering that underwater treadmill therapy is a great alternative to land-based exercise. Using an underwater treadmill reduces the stress on joints while engaging in healthy ranges of motion, helping to encourage recovery from an injury or surgery.

Injuries, such as arthritic hips, back pain or knee injuries, can be painful and discouraging. Patients often struggle to get back to their normal activity level, which is why rehabilitation and gait training can be a long, frustrating process.

However, when patients undergo underwater therapy, they can begin walking and running sooner than if they were on land, thanks to the reduced weight-bearing water’s buoyancy offer. This helps patients regain their walking ability and start rehab exercises faster while retaining muscle strength and conditioning.

This is especially important for arthritic patients, who may favor one leg and refuse to use it on land. Underwater treadmills can help to take pressure off the favored leg and make it more likely that it will be used again.

The hydrostatic pressure of the water helps to reduce swelling and improve flexibility by removing joint stress while allowing patients to walk longer than they could with a land-based treadmill. As a result, aquatic exercise has been shown to increase range of motion (ROM) in patients with osteoarthritis and other chronic conditions.

In addition, patients with a history of heart or respiratory disease can exercise safely on an underwater treadmill if they are properly monitored. They are never exercised to the point of fatigue and their respiratory rate is closely monitored during sessions.

Increasing a patient’s cardiovascular endurance is another benefit of an underwater treadmill physical therapy program. Studies have shown that patients who perform underwater treadmill workouts on a regular basis can build body mass and increase their overall muscle strength, which can boost their physical stamina and lead to longer on-ground exercise sessions.

An underwater treadmill can also be beneficial for people who are overweight or obese. Patients who are overweight have difficulty performing land-based exercises, and their joints are subjected to additional stress during these activities. In a study of 71 OA-afflicted sexagenarians, 71 percent of patients reported reduced pain and 75 percent enjoyed reduced stiffness after performing aquatics, compared with 62 percent of those who performed their land-based exercise on an outdoor treadmill.

Promotes Range of Motion

An underwater treadmill helps people recover from injuries faster. It can be used for a wide range of running-related conditions, including Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, and iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS).

Studies have shown that underwater walking on the treadmill can help improve range of motion in patients with hemiplegia or quadriplegia who are in a phase of rehabilitation. This includes improving their static balance ability and dynamic balance capacity.

Another benefit of the underwater treadmill is that it promotes muscle strengthening. An Australian study found that aquatic treadmill workouts can increase muscle mass significantly more than land-based strength training.

This is due to the viscosity of the water, which forces a person to make more physical efforts during their walk or run. This results in stronger hip, leg and foot muscles. This in turn also helps improve core muscle groups throughout the body.

Underwater treadmills are a great way to work out without risking an injury, and they can be used by athletes of all levels. Elite coach Alberto Salazar has his althetes, like top distance runner Galen Rupp, use the equipment to supplement their weekly mileage and speed recovery.

Aside from promoting range of motion, an underwater treadmill can also be underwater treadmill useful for rehabilitating joint and muscle pain. People with chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis may find that they experience significant relief after using an underwater treadmill.

Older adults may also benefit from this type of therapy. Many therapists believe that walking and other aerobic activities can reduce the pain associated with arthritis and other degenerative conditions.

In addition, an aquatic treadmill can be used to exercise post-operative patients or geriatric dogs who have lost a lot of mobility from age or disease. The warm water of 28degC-32degC helps relax the muscles, decrease pain and muscle spasm, and improve range of motion.

The controlled buoyancy of the water reduces the impact on painful joints and makes this form of exercise gentle enough to use on a patient as early as two weeks after surgery, when stitches are out. Unlike other types of water-based rehabilitation, the veterinary team can control the level of buoyancy that a patient experiences, making this treatment safe for most canine patients.

Increases Muscle Strengthening

Whether you are an athlete, an active older adult or recovering from a medical condition, you can enjoy a variety of benefits from exercising on an underwater treadmill. A recent Texas A&M research study found that underwater treadmill workouts helped athletes build muscle mass while also reducing stress on their knee joints and calf muscles.

The water’s buoyancy and resistance make it an efficient way to improve cardiovascular fitness, build strength and burn fat. Additionally, underwater treadmill physical therapists and sports medicine professionals can use an underwater treadmill in various treatment settings including hospitals and rehabilitation centers.

Studies show that aquatic training is particularly effective for rehabilitating people with spinal cord injuries, chronic pain or joint stiffness due to osteoarthritis. It reduces stress on the muscles, ligaments and tendons that support the spinal cord and improves range of motion in the affected area.

Researchers also found that aquatic exercise is beneficial for reducing blood pressure levels, especially when used in conjunction with land-based exercises. High blood pressure is common among many US citizens and can be difficult to control. An underwater treadmill, which has been proven to lower blood pressure levels, can help patients to exercise without the discomfort that can often lead them to avoid physical activities.

Hydrotherapy treadmill manufacturers like H2O For Fitness are helping patients and athletes to rehabilitate faster and without pain. As a result, they can restart physical activity earlier and improve their overall quality of life.

Underwater treadmills are a good choice for many physical therapy patients, as they can easily accommodate a range of fitness levels. For example, small dogs that have undergone a femoral head ostectomy can benefit from underwater treadmill therapy because it helps strengthen the surrounding muscles and tendons while preventing excessive scar tissue that can cause instability or restrict joint function.

Another reason that physical therapists and athletes are turning to underwater treadmills is because they offer numerous other health advantages, such as a low-impact workout. Some people with high blood pressure can use an underwater treadmill to lower their blood pressure, which can be helpful for treating conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

Aids Gait Training

Underwater treadmills are a beneficial form of gait training that can be used to assist patients with stroke, osteoarthritis and other physical conditions. The gentle support and resistance of water reduces swelling, increases flexibility, and strengthens muscles.

People who have had a stroke often struggle with mobility issues, which can result in poor balance and a high risk of falling. Underwater treadmills are an effective way to help these patients regain their independence and confidence in walking.

A study conducted in the UK found that underwater walking with water-jet resistance or an ankle weight equivalent to 5% of a person’s body weight re-elicited independent stepping abilities in chronic stroke patients. They also reported that the speed, stride length and step frequency were significantly improved after a short period of training.

The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) kinesiology professor is using this form of gait training to improve cardiovascular and respiratory function in adults diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and other health conditions. Conners says that exercise in the water should be limited to short sessions, such as walking one minute and resting two minutes, followed by repeating.

Research studies have also shown that an underwater treadmill can be used to help patients with lower leg amputations to increase their strength and stability and regain the ability to walk independently. In addition, a case study published in Clinical Kinesiology showed that this form of treatment helped a woman with spinal cord injury improve her balance and gait abilities.

These benefits can be achieved with a number of different gait training techniques. Some can be performed on an underwater treadmill alone, while others require a partner to aid in the training process.

Depending on the patient’s goals, therapists can adjust their underwater treadmill programs to help them reach these goals. In some cases, they may choose to add massage holes that allow them to attach resistance jets for deep-tissue massaging.

The therapists at Rehabilitation Center, Bangkok Hospital use an underwater treadmill and water jets to provide low-impact resistance training for a wide range of patients with various injuries and conditions. They are also able to assess fall risks, improve mobility and balance, and develop agility and muscle tone.