A total joint replacement is an artificial system that replaces a certain part of the body that no longer functions or gives too much pain to the individual when used. The most common joint replacement systems are for the hip and the knee as these obtain some of the most wear and tear throughout an individual’s lifespan. This system is considered a prosthetic and is made out of two parts known as the fossa and condyle. These parts act as a ball and socket, which makes up the entire structure. It is mainly used as a way for an individual to retain or get back total function of a joint which has been worn down.
When and Why You Would Want One
An individual should consider a total joint replacement if they have a condition that has completely degenerated their joints. For instance, diseases such as Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, or traumas that have resulted in significant destruction of a joint, hip fractures, developmental abnormalities, will often cause an individual to seek a joint replacement. Keep in mind that a joint replacement requires adequate therapy before and after the surgery to obtain optimal results. When considering which option fits you best, it is wise to contact a professional in sports medicine in Toronto or in your local area and set up an appointment to get a better assessment with respect to your preoperative and postoperative physical rehabilitation.
The recovery time for a total joint replacement varies among individuals; however full daily activity is usually resumed in and around the four to six week mark. However, it can take several months to get used to the new joint as there are side effects such as swelling, tingling and sometimes paralysis during the recovery time. If you are still working, the time required off work will vary anywhere between 4 and 10 weeks or longer depending on how physically demanding your job is. Appropriate rehabilitation before and after your surgery will minimize your down time. Once work is resumed it may need to resumed by a gradual transition.
It is common in sports medicine in Toronto, for individuals to get total joint replacements only when it is the last option available. There are many avenues of treatment prior to reaching this point in the breakdown of a joint including the use of oral supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin, joint injections such as Hyaluronic Acid, and cortisone. Participating in appropriate physical rehabilitation is also important. These measures help reduce pain and maintain function, activity and health.
Aquatic therapy, otherwise known as water therapy or aquatic rehabilitation, focuses on providing physical treatment for those of all ages and fitness levels. It looks at helping individuals who need to improve their coordination or balance, build up their muscles and endurance, enhance aerobic capacity, improve flexibility and reduce stress. It is a physical medicine that works well with athletes as it can be tailored to each individual based on previous injuries or specific requirements. One would obtain aquatic therapy from a trained professional. You can find a trained professional at either a hospital, a clinic like the sports medicine clinic in Toronto, or from a rehabilitation centre.
The Benefits of Water Therapy
The largest benefit that water therapy provides individuals such as athletes is that those who are recovering from injury, who cannot practice rehabilitation on physical land, can do so in the water. The reason for this is because water provides compression to injured muscles and reduces gravity’s pull on the body due to the principal of buoyancy. Water also exactly matches the resistance an injured muscle can generate ensuring that an injured muscle is never overused yet providing maximal exercise potential for healing. Other advantages that athletes would specifically benefit from include:
- Respiratory muscles must work harder in water which naturally strengthens them throughout the therapy session and afterwards.
- The resistance of the water can be used to strengthen muscles and increase the progression of rehabilitation.
- Pain will be reduced as the individual will always be supported in the water. This in turn also reduces any fear that the individual may have after a serious injury.
Other benefits that would help all fitness levels and athletes of all kinds:
- Increased joint flexibility as the reduction in gravity allows for a higher range of motion.
- Increased blood supply to all areas including muscles, which reduces pain and speeds up the healing process.
- Balance and muscle strength will be improved due to the water’s natural resistance.
Finally, there are many benefits that come from the hydrostatic pressure of water. Not only do the heart and lungs work harder but the pressure of the water will act has a compression tool, relieving chronic aches and pains that one might have. Plus, due to the pressure your circulation will improve which can benefit the entire body as oxygen rich blood will be able to reach all areas. If you are an athlete or an individual who has been injured in the past and is having a difficult time with recovery, definitely get in touch with a clinic like our sports medicine clinic in Toronto and see if aquatic therapy would work for you.