Sciatica refers to the medical condition in which an injury or disorder causes stabbing pain along the sciatic nerve, which extends from lower back to buttocks and all the way to the back of the legs. It usually affects one side of the body. Sciatica is a common problem among people but it mostly affects older people and athletes. When it comes to treating this condition, there are many methods and treatments in the medical science such as physical therapy for sciatica, medicines and in serious conditions, surgery as well. However, there is another treatment which is less-known among patients that has proven effective over time. This treatment is hydrotherapy.
Hydrotherapy or mostly commonly known as water therapy involves exercising in a pool of warm water to alleviate various kinds of pain. Hydrotherapy for sciatica is gaining popularity because the efficiency rate is high. Almost all patients experience improvement in their condition after undergoing hydrotherapy. The benefits of water therapist are numerous plus there are many reasons why is it so. Hydrotherapy helps in the treats of sciatica because of the following properties.
- The virtual elimination of the gravitational force – it is, of course, impossible to eliminate gravitational force from Earth but water counters gravity and as a result, exercising under water allows for more free motions. Water supports the weight of a person and it becomes easier for patients to perform the exercises they usually have difficulty performing on land. There is less gravitational force affecting their movements such as lifting legs and arms, jumping etc.
- Hydrostatic Pressure – the hydrostatic pressure of water helps maintain the internal fluid pressure in a person’s body. It also helps in improving the blood pressure and consequently, the muscles become easier to control. The muscle in the body relaxes in warm water which relieves pain immediately. Hydrotherapy for sciatica is best for short-term as well as long term treatment.
- Water Resistance – water also provide resistance to various underwater movements as well. This is a good thing for the treatment of sciatica and other medical conditions because it creates a gentle friction and slows down the movements of a person. In order to counter the water resistance, a person has to put more strength to carry out each movement, this results in strengthening the muscles of the person. A sciatica patient can benefit largely from under water exercises.
- Psychological Effects – the physical effects of water therapy for treating sciatica cannot be denied however, a huge part of the success of hydrotherapy treatment is because of the psychological effects it has on patients. First of all, hydrotherapy is commonly done in warm water. When a patient submerges in the warm water, it immediately produces soothing effects in the body. Warm water helps greatly in relieving the pain and for patients, if the pain is gone, they are fully treated and recovered. This creates positive psychological effects in the patients and soon the body follows in the footsteps of the brain. As a result, the chances of the recurrence of sciatic pain decreases.