Hydrotherapy: workout in water!

by (Physiotherapist)

HYDROTHERAPY: Water As A Workout!

And you don’t need to be able to swim!

Research is consistently showing hydrotherapy, or aquatic exercise, to be as effective as land-based exercise in reducing pain and improving function [3][7]. It’s no wonder that hydrotherapy has been used as a treatment modality for hundreds of years!

  • It’s low impact

Great for managing rheumatoid or osteoarthritis, those who have difficulties exercising on land due to impact or pain [4].

  •  Thermotherapy

Relaxes muscles and relives joint stiffness [6].

  • Assists with chronic conditions

Arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, fibromyalgia [6].

  • Preparation for or rehabilitation following joint replacement surgery
  • Facilitating recovery from certain strokes and brain injuries

But what really makes hydrotherapy so effective?


Buoyancy – The deeper you are submerged in water, the less you weigh. Exercising in water lessens the effects of impact exercise and relieves the joints of much of your bodyweight [1] [5]. Hence, one can tolerate a variety of exercise with better endurance, technique and reduced or no pain.

Heat – Hydrotherapy pools measure around 34°C in temperature, much warmer than your average lap pool! Heat increases circulation through the body, which can relieve muscle tightness and relieve stiffness in … read more »

Benefits of Hydrotherapy

by (Osteopath & Exercise Scientist)

Who can do hydrotherapy? You.

Hydrotherapy is derived from the Greek words “hydro” meaning water and “therapia” meaning healing, and this form of therapeutic rehabilitation is a particularly useful mode of exercise treatment for many conditions.

Don’t worry; you don’t have to be able to swim (or have to get your hair wet) to gain the benefits from hydrotherapy. Each session is modified to the individual and is based on the condition, stage of rehab and the therapeutic goals set together with the treating practitioner.

Hydrotherapy sessions are taken in thermo-neutral water- this is water heated between 32-36degrees. It is highly beneficial as it is warm to the touch to help relieve pain and muscle spasm whilst at the same time increasing blood supply to the skin without having an effect on core temperature.

The buoyancy of the water unloads the weight of the body allowing minimal loading on the joints, gaining ease of movement and gives the space to focus on quality and control of the movement. Improvement in balance and proprioception is seen alongside strengthening of weak muscles.

Hydrotherapy is useful for:

  • Low risk pregnancies
  • Musculoskeletal problems, particularly where swelling is present
  • Conditions where land-based exercise causes pain
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