Hydrotherapy, otherwise known as Aquatic Physiotherapy, is a specific form of physiotherapy treatment conducted in a heated pool. Aquatic Physiotherapy treatment (individually or in groups) incorporates individual assessment, diagnosis and the use of clinical reasoning skills to formulate a treatment program appropriate to each patient’s needs. By combining hands-on pool based physiotherapy treatment techniques and specifically designed exercises supervised by physiotherapists with specific training in Aquatic Physiotherapy, hydrotherapy helps to regain or enhance physical well being in a warm relaxing environment. A series of gentle therapeutic exercises (distinct from swimming or aqua-aerobics) carried out in a heated pool allow greater comfort and range of movement as the water supports body weight. Therapeutic exercises can be progressed safely using the resistance of the water to strengthen the muscles and improve stability.
Our physiotherapists conduct our hydrotherapy sessions in the heated pool at The Tweed Regional Aquatic Centre in Murwillumbah. This pool is maintained at the ideal therapeutic temperature for the rehabilitation of injuries of 32 Degrees Celsius. Our physiotherapists are in the water with the clients throughout the session to instruct clients on the appropriate exercises for their condition and aim to progress them through their rehabilitation to independent sessions as soon as possible. Our physiotherapists use the latest skills and knowledge in hydrotherapy and regularly re-assess the client’s progress. External referrals for hydrotherapy can also be made.
Benefits of Hydrotherapy
Aquatic Physiotherapy can help to relieve pain, promote relaxation, mobilise joints, strengthen muscles, develop balance and coordination, improve general fitness.
- Muscle relaxation and decreased muscle spasm.
- Decreased pain due to warmth and support.
- Gravity is countered by buoyancy.
- Increased muscle strength and endurance due to the greater resistance in the water.
- Improvement in swelling, due to hydrostatic pressure.
- Enhanced balance and stabilisation.
- Improved enjoyment and confidence to move better.
How Does Hydrotherapy Work?
The warmth increases circulation, reduces muscle spasm, and helps to relieve pain. Patients do not need to be able to swim in order to benefit from Aquatic Physiotherapy. Aquatic Physiotherapy may be used alone or in conjunction with other rehabilitation programs. An aquatic program is often a stepping stone for patients to progress onto gym or land-based exercise programs. The rehabilitation program can also include appropriate exercises to maintain fitness while recovering from sports injuries or orthopaedic surgery.
What conditions can Hydrotherapy benefit?
Some of the many conditions that can benefit from an Individualised Aquatic Physiotherapy program include:
- Back pain/sciatica/ lumbar instability
- Whiplash and other neck pain
- Sports injuries
- Balance/ coordination problems
- Shoulder & arm pain
- Rheumatoid Arthritis & Fibromyalgia
- Ankylosing Spondylitis
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Cerebral Palsy
- Back and pelvic pain during pregnancy
- Work and accident-related injuries
- Rehabilitation after bone fractures, joint replacement or tendon repair
Aquatic Physiotherapy has been shown to bring pain relief, combined with long-lasting improvements in joint mobility and muscle strength