Hydrotherapy and its restorative properties can be traced back thousands of years to the original athletes of Ancient Rome and Greece. Traditionally, recovery methods have been implemented in the treatment of injury or illness. Athletes are regularly subjected to multiple forms of fatigue and stress ranging from metabolic, psychological, emotional and even environmental. Recovery is imperative. Studies have shown that
hydrotherapy techniques accelerate the recovery process and have beneficial effects on muscle soreness.
Among the most frequently used treatment is hot and cold water immersion. This causes consecutive constriction and dilation of the blood vessels resulting in improved circulation and removal of metabolic waste such as lactic acid. Researchers in Finland have found
hydrotherapy, specifically the use of warm hydro massage, to have “beneficial influence on subsequent athletic performance”. Using nationally ranked track and field athletes, they were able to determine that 20 minutes of warm hydrotherapy post plyometric training enabled the athletes to maintain performance the following day. Passive rest resulted in a significant decrease in performance
(1). A similar study has shown that "following 15 minutes of a sub maximal exercise, lactic acid measures returned to resting levels faster with 30 minutes of hydro massage than with passive training"
(2). Another study has shown that the perception of soreness post training returned to “baseline levels following a cold whirlpool and contrast methods"
(3). Hot and cold water immersion. One of the great advantages to hydrotherapy is that an athlete can implement it as part of recovery simply by using the tub and shower at home.