Currently, approximately 33% of men and 58% of women are suffering from the knee issues, around every corner of the world. Although, afflictions associated with knee pain can be due to a variety of reasons like lack of movements, improper postures, etc. that can again be linked with muscle weakness or in certain cases more serious conditions, like osteoarthritis. Although, conventional treatments offered for the manifestations can only be either steroidal medicines or physiotherapy; modern medicine has suggested the importance of pool exercises for knee rehab.
Aqua Physiotherapy for knee rehabilitation
Post-surgery knee strengthening exercises is a challenging incorporation due to various reasons; for both patients as well as therapist offering them. The general motif of a therapist is to help patients regain their mobility and feel fit as well as healthy.
However, surgery has been an ultimate choice in case of severe grade IV arthritis characterized with complete loss of lubricating cartilage; besides, many specialists are reluctant to offer the option of knee replacement surgery due to its lengthy recovery process, and the risk of other opportunistic infections, due to graft vs host reactions.
Modern science and technology have suggested incorporation of water exercises for arthritic knees due to a variety of beneficial effects, like improvement in the range of motion, muscle strengthening, increased flexibility, etc.
The importance of pool exercises for knee rehab
In case of arthritis issues, aquatic therapy is suggested to offer specific treatments to a particular part of the body, which has exhibited limited functional attributes. In this regard, some of the guidelines that are to be followed to avail better aquatic physical exercises can be referred as follows:
A physiotherapist that has been assigned to offer pool exercises for knee rehab should have clinical reasoning skills and decision-making ability.
The patient, who has been proposed for water exercises should be suffering from chronic as well as acute knee pain along with the chronic history of morning stiffness and limited mobility.
With the application of knee strengthening exercises for osteoarthritis, it is possible to minimize the pain and significantly improve quality of life of the patient .
Commonly acknowledged benefits of aquatic therapy
Various pool exercises have been proven to be beneficial, especially due to buoyancy induced low-stress environment. There are, however, a variety of benefits that have been reported as noted herewith:
- Improved functional ability
- Improved flexibility through working on balance, posture, swelling, and control
- Improved muscular strength and tone
- Improved cardiac efficiency
- Increased sensory output
Some of the physical characteristics of water are helpful to offer multiple advantages; such as:
Since water has increased resistance; easy movements in water requirethe application of more force than any other land exercises. Thus, pool exercises for knee rehab can be helpful in increasing muscle tone and strength.
Low of Acceleration
It is being identified that the acceleration potential of every move in proportion to the force applied for it is high, and is also inversely proportional to the weight of the body. Thus, the greater is the body mass, you need to apply higher force for much lesser muscular efforts.
Action and Opposite Reaction
As per Newton’s third law of motion, every action is coupled with the equal and opposite reaction. The water viscosity can be helpful to either impede or assist movements. You may have noticed it multiple times that while jogging forward, your front arms come in the picture.
As per the law of viscosity, the larger surface area is always characterized by more application of resistance; on the contrary, the smaller surface area is associated with less application of resistance.
Preparation for Aquatic Therapy
Before opting for any type of pool exercises for knee rehabilitation, some of the tips shared herewith can be helpful for maximum benefits; which can be:
- Water shoes can allow speedy traction on the pool floor
- The water level should always be up to the waist or chest
- Use of floaters to keep you afloat in deep water
- Slow movements can be helpful in higher resistance than faster movements
- Avoid pushing your body for more exercises and pain
Experts have suggested drinking plenty of water because you generally don’t experience sweating inside the body.
Best pool exercises for knee rehab
As per the expert’s suggestion, five of the best pool exercises that can be incorporated for pain associated with arthritis can be explained as follows:
At wall foot reach, to increase the flexibility
By getting the support of the pool wall, bend forward in a push-up position with both the heels down. Make sure that you focus on one leg at a time, and try to reach towards the wall by bending your leg at the knee. This can be repeated five times with each leg. Once done, try to reach the knee from right to the left. This again can be repeated five times with each leg.
Finally, rotate the knee from right to left and back to the right direction.An initial number of repetitions can be five times, which can be increased for up to 15 times. The typical pattern of exercise has been found to be helpful in increasing the flexibility and the knee strength.
Your strength and balance can be increased through Lag Swing
By holding the pool wall for the balance, you can stand on one leg by keeping its knee soft. The other leg is to be bent at the knee; and can be swayed in a very small range of motion, from left to right, right to left as well as front to back. Each motion can be repeated five times. Once through with one leg, switch to another.
This particular exercise is found to be helpful in improving the posture and balance. With regular implementation, people have also experienced better knee strength and pain management.
Better flexibility and strength can be achieved through pool squats
By holding the pool wall for support, stand with feet shoulder width apart, keeping both knees slightly bent. By imagining that you are sitting in a chair, press your hip at the backward position by raising both the hands in front. You can imagine that your chair is swinging from right to left and rotate your knees accordingly.
The type of exercise is very helpful in decreasing the rigidity and improving strength.
Hip rock exercises can be incorporated for better flexibility and strength
Again, by holding the walls of the pool, keep your knees at shoulder width apart. Swing your hip little backward and forward, by keeping your knees soft. The exercise can be repeated five times. In a similar manner, hips can be rotated right to left in a side by side manner. This exercise can be incorporated in your schedule for improving the knee strength and flexibility.