Water therapy can provide knee pain relief before and during knee replacement surgery recovery, but timing is important. Don’t wait too long after knee replacement to start using physical therapies that will get your joints functioning again. Studies suggest that if you get started on your recovery sooner, you’ll experience better mobility later.
Knee replacement surgery recovery
It may take weeks, even months, for you to feel like you “old self” following knee replacement surgery. Recovery time varies for everyone, and you best know your body’s limits, but in most patients it’s advisable to begin physical therapy within one week of having the procedure. New knee replacement procedures make it possible for you to begin using your new joint shortly after the surgery; sometimes, even within hours of the knee replacement surgery.
Recovery time is a healing time, but it’s also a re-learning time for you and your new knee. You’ve got to learn many things all over again, like walking, in order to function normally again. Water therapy, or aquatic therapy, is a good way to start using your knee again in a low-risk, therapeutic environment.
Water therapy for knee surgery recovery
Studies show that aquatic therapy is very effective when used in patients for knee replacement surgery recovery, but it should be started soon after the procedure. Data suggests that the timing of the therapy is important, so begin your therapy once you are approved by your doctor to do so. In one study, patients who began water therapy exactly 6 days after surgery experienced better flexibility and less pain than those who waited longer.
Through aquatic therapy, patients practice using their replaced knees underwater to take advantage of the weightlessness that water offers. Experienced therapists will lead patients through a series of exercises and routines designed to help the knee function again. Speak to your physician and/or physical therapist about receiving aquatic therapy if they don’t broach the subject.
Water therapy for knee pain relief
Aquatic therapy may also be used for knee pain relief prior to surgery. Many sufferers of joint pain use water therapy to get exercise and improve flexibility. Pools may be cool or hot depending upon the type of therapy and the exercises being performed.
Over-the-counter supplements also provide knee pain relief, as can prescription medications, but unlike therapy they don’t address the underlying cause of the joint pain. Stretching, flexing and exercising the joint is the primary focus in aquatic therapy.
Find more ways to get knee pain relief in our free special report, 5 Keys to Knee Pain Relief Without Surgery.