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Hydrotherapy, Cold Therapy And The Top 5 Fitness Recovery Methods Explained

Performance experts have revealed how hydrotherapy can aid muscle recovery alongside some of the other most effective ways to recover from common fitness injuries, as a new study finds surprisingly high numbers of people are suffering from frequent pain or injuries when exercising. 

The research, conducted by hot tub and hydrotherapy specialists, Jacuzzi, found that over three quarters (77%) of active people suffer from fitness injuries and pain, with a quarter (23%) experiencing pain at least once a week.

When dealing with an injury, resting proved to be the most common form of recovery, with nearly half (47%) opting for the method.  

Not allowing the body to recover after exercise, whether that be simply having rest days, or making use of hydrotherapy hot tubs, or temperature therapy can increase the likelihood of suffering an injury when exercising again.

This is because the body isn’t able to fully recover from the stress of exercise, worsening form and increased risk of poor-quality movement.

The best recovery methods after suffering an injury are: 

  1. Hot tubs / hydrotherapy

For those looking for a quick but effective recovery time, hydrotherapy using a hot tub is an excellent option.

This involves the use of water for pain relief and is particularly effective at treating knee and joint pain, while it’s also used for muscle therapy as it helps to massage the muscles and relieve swelling.  

  1. Cold therapy

Cold therapy reduces the blood flow helping to reduce any swelling and inflammation. This is generally things like cold showers and ice baths, which are used by many athletes. Scientists have found that cold therapy reduces inflammation, swelling and sore muscles, as well as improved sleep, energy levels and focus. 

  1. Rest 

Stiffness and sore muscles are extremely common after exercise, however, when suffering an injury, resting is best to help aid recovery.

After exercising a specific muscle group, you should let it rest for one to two days to gives your muscles a chance to repair and heal. On the other days, you can train different muscles to keep your body balanced. 

  1. Over the counter painkillers

If pain is severe, the use of painkillers can help relieve any pain felt in the injured area.

Pain relief Painkillers, such as paracetamol, Ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) tablets or creams can also be used to ease pain and reduce any swelling.

  1. Heat therapy

Heat therapy increases the blood flow to the affected area, helping to improve muscle flexibility and soothe aching joints.

Taking a hot shower or bath can do the trick.  Other methods to relieve pain while using heat therapy are hot stones and other methods that target one area specifically.

By applying heat to a specific area that’s having muscle spasms you can reduce the spasm quickly without having to take any medications.

Paul Hatton, Head of High Performance at Hull FC, said: “The beauty with using recovery methods such as hydrotherapy, temperature therapy and proper cooldowns is that the body is ready for exercise much quicker than it otherwise would be.

For example, by using hydrotherapy in our recovery process, our players can prepare their bodies in extremely short periods when we have to play lots of games in a short space of time.” 

The top 5 most common fitness injuries experienced by people are: 

  1. Knee pain (28% suffer from this) 
  2. Joint pain (20%) 
  3. Lower back injury (17%) 
  4. Pulled calf (16%) 
  5. Twisted ankle (14%) 

Knee pain was by far the most common discomfort experienced by those exercising, with nearly 28% suffering from it. 

Alex Frascina, Content Manager at Jacuzzi, said: “No matter what your choice of exercise, pain and injuries can pose a risk, so it’s important to know how to treat them when they arise.  

“The good news is that most aches and minor injuries can be treated simply through rest, temperature therapy, or hydrotherapy, which people can get through our range of products. However, if you find yourself experiencing chronic pain caused by exercise, or if you suffer a serious injury, you should visit a medical professional.” 

For more information on exercise recovery, including the benefits of hydrotherapy, visit: https://blog.jacuzzi.co.uk/performance-en/the-importance-of-recovering-between-workouts/ 

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