Hydrotherapy offers a range of benefits for many conditions that our Physiotherapists treat.
As an supplementary treatment to land-based physiotherapy, our physiotherapists accompany patients to heated local pools for assessment and treatment management plans.
Hydrotherapy (also known as aquatic physiotherapy) has been utilised for thousands of years as a treatment technique for pain, inflammation, weakness and stress.
Movement in water, whether active, assisted, or entirely passive, exerts several physiological effects on the body. The external pressure of water promotes venous return, which in turn has a ‘conditioning’ effect on the heart. The water’s warmth and buoyancy helps to relax muscle spasm while supporting the joints through movement, an effect which has obvious applications for conditions such as frozen shoulder, high tone, and post-surgical rehabilitation.
Buoyancy also reduces the effective body weight; for people who are in too much pain to walk, or have difficulties maintaining balance, hydrotherapy allows them to simulate land activities in a safe and supportive environment. Water also offers excellent resistance and strength training as a benefit. By moving a limb faster through water, or increasing the surface area through the use of paddles, the resistance is increased.
Broadly speaking, hydrotherapy may be used to achieve the following:
- Increased strength and flexibility (post injury/surgery)
- Reduction of high tone & spasticity
- Reduction of pain and/or hypersensitivity
- Improved balance
- Improved circulation & cardiac function
- Improved co-ordination