Aquatic Therapy Session for Hip Osteoarthritis (Part 2)

Aquatic Therapy Session for Hip Osteoarthritis (Part 2)

The following posts (Part 1 and 2) have been adapted from the articles, “Hip Osteoarthritis: Aquatic exercise for healthy living on land” by Mary E. Sanders, PhD, FACSM, RCEP, and Cathy Maloney-Hills, RPT and “Shallow-water Hip energy workouts,” in the July/August issue of The Journal on Active Aging.

Part One, we addressed the informational and research side to ‘why aquatic therapy works’ for patients with hip osteoarthritis. Part 2 is a detailed aquatic therapy workout adapted from the same article in the July/August issue of The Journal on Active Aging. This routine is titled Phase 1 of a possible 3 Phase program, primarily working on ‘motor control and endurance focusing on strengthening and stretching hips and legs.

  1.  Warm-Up: Begin with a 3-5 minute warm-Up, starting with a light jog or march in place. Gradually increase the speed and walk forward and backward across the pool (or an underwater treadmill), slowly increasing the size of your steps, speed and or resistance jets.
  2. Motor Control and Endurance Exercises– do 8-15 repetitions of each of these exercises and 1-4 sets. It is very important to focus on each muscle group and area around the hip individually. Strengthening only one or two areas will help, but not for the long term. In order to improve your current condition, simplify your routine by taking it one major muscle group at a time. Focusing on gluteals, hip abductors and adductors, quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors and hip rotators will benefit the entire hip joint. Exercises targeting these areas help improve balance, reduce swelling and pain, and increase your mobility and flexibility. And not to mention, you’ll be getting stronger too! Doing these exercises in a warm-water pool reduces pain, risk of falling and increase mobility.
    • Gluteals
      • Double-legged squats
      • Single-legged squats
      • Stretch in hug position
      • Cross-legged suspended stretch
    • Hip Abductors and Adductors
      • Power legs together and apart underwater
      • Power walk stepping out to side
      • Power walk crossing legs to center
      • Crab walk sideways
    • Quadriceps
      • Alternating Leg kicks
      • Jump and curl feet to buttocks
    • Hamstrings
      • Alternating leg kicks
      • Jump and curl knees to chest
      • Hop Stretch
      • Leap stretch
    • Hip Flexors
      • Frozen Lunge (mini half kneel)
      • Suspended static stretch
    • Hip Rotators
      • Walking on a diagonal
      • Kicking on a diagonal

For detailed descriptions of these exercises, please see the full article, “Shallow-water Hip energy workouts,” in the July/August issue of The Journal on Active Aging.

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