What we’ll cover
  1. What is functional exercise?
  2. Is hydrotherapy functional?
  3. What exercise should I do?

Is hydrotherapy functional?

Hydrotherapy can be a great form of exercise and rehabilitation.  The buoyancy of the water allows you to perform a range of exercises which may not be able to performed in a weight bearing fashion due to pain or stiffness.  This can be especially useful during the early stages of post-operative rehabilitation or for the management of chronic arthritic or degenerative conditions.  Malvern East Physiotherapy provides aquatic physiotherapy and hydrotherapy options on a Tuesday and Friday at Harold Holt Swim Centre.

Whilst hydrotherapy can be a great form of exercise, it is not recommended to be your only form of exercise given it’s limitations.

why you shouldn't do hydrotherapy

What is functional exercise?

Unless you are a professional athlete, the majority of us do not live to exercise.  Functional exercises are a fancy way to describe exercises designed to make it easier to perform every day activities.  This could include exercises to improve your ability to get out of a chair, through to exercises designed to improve your ability to carry your groceries.

Is hydrotherapy functional?

Unfortunately, the limiting factor with hydrotherapy is that the buoyancy of the water reduces the amount of weight put through the joint.  Whilst this can be incredibly beneficial for maintaining joint mobility, the strength benefits of hydrotherapy are limited.  For example, hydrotherapy can regularly limit the amount of body weight being placed through the joint by up to half.  However, during the day, your body weight and more is regularly placed through your joints.  Studies have shown that slowly walking down steps or down hill increases the amount of load through the hip and knee by 2 – 3 x your body weight!

Equally important is that weight bearing is crucial for the maintenance of bone density and the prevention of osteoporosis.  This is why functional exercise programs commonly include weight bearing exercises.  Not only is weight bearing crucial for every day tasks, but it is also integral to improving and maintaining bone density.

What exercise should I do?

Your physiotherapist is an expert is providing an appropriate level of exercise for your individual needs.  Exercises for the management of arthritis focus specifically on maintaining mobility of the affected joint and strength of the surrounding muscles.

For example, arthritic conditions of the lower limb can be greatly assisted by increasing endurance and strength of the leg muscles such as the gluteals, thigh and calf.  These muscle groups will support the affected joint and help offload excessive stress and strain being placed through the joint.

Importantly, your physiotherapist will provide exercises that specifically work these muscle groups in a safe fashion without compromising the joint integrity.  These exercises are going to be different for each individual.  Depending on your signs and symptoms, what has worked well for a friend of family member may not always be the best exercise specifically for you.

This doesn’t mean that hydrotherapy isn’t appropriate.  Hydrotherapy can be incredibly useful if you are unable to weight bear or have very limited strength.  However, land-based exercises can regularly be adapted or progressed to safely reduce stress and strain through arthritic joints.  Like the cliche saying, “everything in moderation”.  Your physiotherapist will more than likely recommend a combination of exercises which may include non-weight bearing and weight bearing exercises.

Your physiotherapist is well placed to direct you in the most effective and efficient type of exercise.  Whether these exercises are performed individually at home or in a group environment, the main thing is that the exercises provided for you are safe and individualised.  Malvern East Physiotherapy prides itself in providing individualised, safe, and practical exercises for you.

To make sure you are doing the best form of exercise for your arthritis, call us today or book online.

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Back to school 🔙📚

Last week we were fortunate enough to head back to uni and refresh our anatomy knowledge at @latrobeuni in the anatomy labs. 

Thank you to the Latrobe School of Physiotherapy for inviting us! Last week our team celebrated another great year. 

Whilst Melbourne’s weather had its own plans, we were still determined to keep with the theme of ‘Italian Summer’. We let our hair down to master the art of mixology 🍸🍹followed by an Italian feast. Friday morning Run Club with the team. Practicing what we preach!

Staying stronger, healthier and happier. This time last week, our team was nervously completing their final preparations for @melbmara . 

Congratulations to our physiotherapists and ME community who ran on the day.

Dilen and Michael completed their first marathons. Abbey and Lizzie smashed out their first half. Last Sunday, our team headed down to see our own Matt Warren win a premiership in the VAFA Premier Men’s Competition. Last week our team dedicated a full day to professional development and team building. At ME Physio we pride ourselves on collaboration to put you at the centre of everything we do. 

Our team covered the latest treatments for back pain, financial well-being and finished off the day with salsa dancing. 

Many thanks to our guests including James Schomburgk from @the2ndvisitphysio , Financial Planners Tony Vikram & Cameron Bishop and the @salsafoundation At ME Physio, our focus is on helping you get stronger so that you can keep doing the things you love.

For Tony and Joan, healthier and stronger is being able to navigate the iconic Coast to Coast Walk in the UK! We recently had the pleasure of hosting Elise Bujor from Women’s & Men’s Health Physiotherapy to discuss women’s health issues across the lifespan. 

Our team pride themselves on staying up to date to ensure you’re able to stay healthier, happier and stronger. Huge milestones over the past few weeks with both Tom and Jude from @delasallefc doing their first bit of running in their rehab. 

Tom is on the return from an ankle dislocation whilst Jude is putting in the hard work following a knee reconstruction. Last week our team enjoyed some friendly rivalry at the footy. 

With finals around the corner, some of our team can now safely make holidays plans for September. We recently had the pleasure of hosting the podiatry team from @sespodiatry. 

Our physiotherapists Michael and Abbey presented on rehabilitation following Achilles surgical repair and ankle surgery. Last weekend some of our team got together to complete the 10 km run @runmelbourne. There was no finish line picture as some were keen to run another 15 km!

Whilst running wasn’t for some - brunch was well received by everyone.

You Deserve to Feel Good.

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