What is hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy, or aquatic therapy, is physiotherapy performed in a warm water pool. The effects of the water and warm temperature can help to reduce pain and provide support to aid your rehabilitation.
How does hydrotherapy work?
The aquatic pools are heated to 34°C - the optimum temperature for muscles to relax. The water helps to provide an environment in which you may see the following benefits:
- Increased joint range of motion and flexibility
- Increased muscle activity and strength
- Low-impact form of exercise
- Increasing confidence and motivation, to complement or prior to traditional land-based exercise
What happens during the session?
During the hydrotherapy session, you'll be accompanied by an experienced aquatic physiotherapist. They will guide you through a series of movements and exercises, either working with the water or against the water to help improve your mobility and strength.
The sessions usually last for 30 minutes. This helps to maximise the effects of treatment while minimising the risks of dehydration.
Are there any side effects?
The warm temperature and exercise can make you feel a little tired after the session. It’s important to ensure you remain hydrated and drink plenty of water following the session. However it’s a safe form of exercise and there are no known serious after effects. If you have any concerns, your physiotherapist will be happy to discuss these with you.
Who can benefit from hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy can be used to treat and rehabilitate a wide range of conditions, including:
- Spinal conditions
- Sports injuries
- Neurological conditions
- If you are about to have or have had orthopaedic surgery
Your physiotherapist will work with you on an individualised exercise program and give you support during your treatment.
Do I need to be able to swim?
You do not need to be able to swim or get your head wet to participate in a hydrotherapy treatment session. Your physiotherapist can adapt your treatment to suit your needs, so if you’re not confident in the water, they can advise on appropriate exercises whilst keeping your feet on the floor.
Access to the pool is either by a set of steps with handrails, or by a hoist if you are unable to access the steps.
Are group sessions available?
We offer ‘splash sessions’ for patients who have been discharged from their formal physiotherapy sessions, but who would like to continue having hydrotherapy in the pool under supervision.
How much does hydrotherapy cost?
Before your first hydrotherapy session you'll need a full assessment by a physiotherapist to assess your suitability for hydrotherapy, agree on your specific goals and treatment plan. The cost for an initial physiotherapy consultation starts from £54*. Hydrotherapy sessions start from £50*.
You can pay for your own treatment or use your private medical insurance – check with your provider that your policy covers this treatment. You don't need a GP referral to access hydrotherapy services.
To find out more about hydrotherapy, call 0800 404 666 or make an online enquiry.
*This is a starting from price and varies by hospital