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Hydrotherapy

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Abstract

Hydrotherapy employs certain properties of water to enable and facilitate the rehabilitation (and some time training) of patients who find land-based exercise too difficult or painful. This chapter considers Principles of hydrotherapy; Potential benefits of hydrotherapy; Indications for hydrotherapy; Contradictions and cautions; Equipment; Self practice; Protocols; and Outcome assessment.

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Figures

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10.2 Buoyancy is the upward thrust of water acting on a body; gravity (downward thrust) is also acting on the same body. If the centre of gravity and the centre of buoyancy are not in the same vertical plane, the body (or patient) will have a tendency to tip or tilt . This has implications for the placement of flotation devices. Drawn by S.J. Elmhurst BA Hons (www.livingart.org.uk) and reproduced with her permission.
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10.3 Increasing proportions of bodyweight are supported with increasing depth of water. Drawn by S.J. Elmhurst BA Hons (www.livingart.org.uk) and reproduced with her permission.
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10.4 Swimming aids joint flexion, here of the left hindleg.
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10.5 Underwater treadmill exercise. Note the flexion of the carpus and elbow joints, which is typically greater than when walking over ground. The top of the water level is typically near the elbow. (Courtesy of Darryl L. Millis; reproduced from the )
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10.6 A ramp with a textured non-slip grip surface allows animals to walk into the pool.
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10.7 Electric hoist that goes out over the centre of the pool with a slow and quiet mechanism and has an emergency lowering action, for use if electricity fails.
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10.8 Water testing. Photometer for testing free chlorine, total chlorine and pH levels. Example of water test records.
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10.9 Patients should be fitted with a buoyancy aid.
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10.10 First aid box and eye wash for staff and clients.
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10.11 Left hindleg moving cranially in a more normal ROM. Left hindleg moving down and caudally. Left hindleg in extension.

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