The Benefits of Hydrotherapy for People with Parkinson’s Disease
Aquatic therapy is a specific type of hydrotherapy that refers to physical therapy performed in a warm water pool. It uses the properties of water to improve health and well-being and is a safe and effective treatment for people with Parkinson’s disease of all ages and abilities. It can be used to improve a variety of symptoms and to improve overall quality of life.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects the central nervous system, particularly the basal ganglia. The basal ganglia are a group of structures in the brain that control movement, coordination, and balance. In Parkinson’s disease the basal ganglia become damaged, leading to tremors, stiffness, slowness of movement and difficulty with balance and coordination.
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease vary from person to person and can change over time. Other symptoms include fatigue, depression, anxiety, difficulty sleeping and cognitive problems such as memory loss and difficulty thinking clearly. Hydrotherapy can help to improve many of these symptoms.
The warm water in a hydrotherapy pool helps to relax muscles and reduce stiffness. It also provides buoyancy, which can make it easier to move and complete exercises in the water. The resistance of the water can help to strengthen muscles and improve balance and coordination.
Some of the specific physical benefits of hydrotherapy would include:
- Improved range of motion
- Reduced stiffness / Improve flexibility
- Improved muscle strength
- Improved balance and coordination
- Reduce fatigue
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Reduce pain
In addition to the physical benefits, hydrotherapy can also have a positive impact on the mental and emotional well-being of people with Parkinson’s. The warm water and the freedom of movement can help reduce stress and anxiety which can help to improve mood and sleep quality.