Swimming For Your Recovery

As the 4th most popular form of exercise in the United States, swimming is a sports activity millions of Americans use to boost heart health and lower the risk of chronic illness. Furthermore, since water decreases pressure on the joints, swimming is an excellent option for patients recovering from surgery. Provided the incision has healed properly for a minimum of a week, swimming is a perfect way to reintroduce movement to the body after surgery. Thanks to the natural buoyancy of the water, hydrotherapy offers benefits such as reduced rates of inflammation, improved pain levels and an overall shortened recovery time.

Decreasing inflammation via hydrostatic pressure

When recovering from surgery, many doctors suggest swimming as a choice form of no-impact aerobic exercise. Thanks to the hydrostatic pressure surrounding the body while submerged in water, aquatic therapy lowers the likelihood of swelling. Swimming also allows for increased mobility, limiting discomfort and allowing the patient to move forward in physical therapy goals. Finally, swimming helps increase blood flow throughout the body, promoting overall healing and patient wellbeing.

Less pain, more gain

Another integral benefit to aquatic therapy is pain reduction. The hydrostatic pressure underwater acts as a compression band on the patient’s limbs and body, reducing muscle spasms while putting appropriate pressure on muscles. The gentle yet constant pressure minimizes the pain associated with physical therapy exercises used to rehabilitate patients after reconstructive surgeries. Swimming relaxes the body as well, with patients reporting an increase in energy and stamina after sessions in the water.

The shortcut to recovery

Swimming is an initial time investment, but aquatic therapy pays off rapidly by shortening a patient’s overall recovery time. To enjoy the benefits while not pushing the body too far, some experts recommend starting with three days a week at 20-30 minutes per workout. While the rate of recovery depends on the procedure as well as the age and health of a patient, water rehabilitation can get patients into physical therapy within days of reconstructive surgery. The faster a patient starts physical therapy, the quicker a patient can regain range of motion and return to normal functioning.

Getting healthy in 20 minutes or less

Swimming promotes aerobic health with less pressure on joints and hydrostatic pressure underwater, acting as a compression tool. Furthermore, being submerged in water allows patients more mobility while lowering muscle spasms and general discomfort incidents. In as little as 20 minutes per swimming session, patients can move down the road to recovery faster than expected.