Ligament Injuries

The Advantages of Using Hydrotherapy

Specific Heat - Our pool is maintained at 34°C, which can help to warm the tissues to improve circulation and allow for a wide range of exercises to be performed
Buoyancy - Can help increase range of movement and decrease pain
Resistance - Strengthen specific muscles without joint impact sooner than possible on land with our state-of-the-art underwater current machine
Hydrostatic Pressure - (Natural pressurising qualities that can help reduce swelling, blood flow and lymphatic drainage).
Sensory Input - Water can increase your proprioception and improve your balance and confidence. Our specially heated water can also have a pain reducing effect!

When and How Can I Start Hydrotherapy?

Because of the buoyancy effects of hydrotherapy pools and the resulting lack of impact to the affected joint, hydrotherapy can be a fantastic initial step post-injury. The earlier you start the better off you will be!

Getting started is simple and easy, and it involves an initial assessment from one of our highly qualified physiotherapists. From there they will build a programme tailored to your needs. Sessions progress from one-on-one sessions with your physio to self-managed sessions with a bespoke rehabilitation plan, meaning you’re supported at every stage.

I injured my knee over twenty years ago and had an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction.  Since that time I have had on-going problems with my knee and have had three further operations. During this period I have continued (against medical advice) to run.  However, in February I injured my knee again and had not been able to do any exercise. 

I have had extensive physiotherapy, but this was the first time that I had tried hydrotherapy. Before treatment I was unable to walk more than 50m and was limping.  I was absolutely amazed when I got out of the pool after the first session and was able to walk normally.  I have had only four sessions over a two week period and the increase in mobility and strength in my knee has been astounding.

At each session I have seen a dramatic improvement in my knee that I have never experienced during standard physiotherapy treatments.  The physiotherapists are very supportive and are clearly very experienced.  They are extremely friendly and inspirational.  Although my Consultant has suggested that I may never be able to run again, AquaPhysio has given me the best opportunity to fulfil my dream.


Take a look at our Case Studies

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A patient working in the pool following 2 knee ligament injuries




A patient working in the pool after ACL reconstruction surgery


What causes a Ligament Injury?

Ligaments are strained when the joint is stressed beyond its normal range. Common causes of a ligament injury include: twisting, or landing awkwardly.

It’s most common when the ligaments around a particular joint are at full-stretch which can cause it to tear away from the bone. The most common torn ligaments are knee ligaments and ankle ligaments; this is because the joints are weight-bearing and under high stress with change of direction sports or full contact sports.

The 3 Grades of Ligament Injury are:
Grade l : Mild ligament tear
Grade 2 : Moderate ligament tear
Grade 3 : Severe (Ruptured) ligament tear

Ligament injuries are becoming more common for athletes and come in many forms. They can also be accompanied by other injuries and tears around the affected joint, most commonly the knee.

The medial and lateral collateral ligaments keep the knee from shifting side to side, while the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments keep the knee from sliding front to back. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the most commonly injured knee ligament.

Timeline for return to sport is usually 6-9 months, however utilizing the pool tends to help keep your return closer to the 6 month schedule; this is due to being able to reinforce neuromuscular recruitment patterns earlier than is possible with land therapy.

What does rehabilitation involve?

There are typically four phases to your rehabilitation, with a hydrotherapy pool playing an important role in each phase.

From 0-6 weeks in to a ligament injury the muscles surrounding your joint can be effectively and safely strengthened to support it. Your joint will also benefit from reduced load, increased range of movement as well as a reduction in swelling and pain in these initial stages of rehabilitation. Water naturally has pressurising qualities that can help reduce oedema and swelling, as well as helping to improve blood flow and lymphatic drainage.

From 7-12 weeks, strengthening exercises take centre stage, as well as a focus on decreasing any lingering pain and swelling, achieving full range of motion, and returning to normal strength. The waters drag combined with our state of the art under water current machine provides for a safe way to increase resistance against your movement to help improve the strength of the muscles supporting the affected joint. You will also improve proprioceptive feedback in these stages to help prevent re-injury.

From 3-4 months our highly qualified physiotherapists will work with you to refine motor control activities and functional strengthening until you are able to transition to land. Functional strengthening in a safe low-impact environment will ensure you are prepared to return to your previous level of function on land, as well as to maintain and often improve your cardiovascular ability!

4+ months see you returning to your sport specific activities if you are rehabilitating a sporting injury, and will see you performing higher level sprinting and agility drills and practising efficient firing patterns. This will ensure you’re properly recruiting muscle fibres and are ready to perform at your best.

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