Hydrotherapy is the use of water in treatment. The use of water for therapy has been around for hundreds of years, as far back as the ancient Greeks and Romans, and forms an integral part in many traditional medicine systems. A hydrotherapy session usually includes a wide variety of exercise types. This may include stretching, strenghtening, functional training, balance, core strenghtening and cardiovascular fitness training.


How Does Hydrotherapy Work?

The healing properties of hydrotherapy are based on its mechanical and/or thermal effects. It makes use of the body’s reaction to hot and cold stimuli, to the protracted application of heat, to the pressure exerted by the water, and to the sensation of the water itself. Nerves carry what is felt by the skin deeper into the body, where it is then vital in stimulating the immune system, influencing the production of stress hormones, improving circulation and digestion, encouraging the flow of blood, and lessening the body’s sensitivity to pain.


When submerged in a body of water such as a bath or a pool, there is a kind of weightlessness, as the water relieves your body of much of the effects of gravity. Water also has a hydrostatic effect and has a massage-like feeling as the water gently kneads your body. Water, when it is moving, stimulates the touch receptors on the skin, increasing blood circulation and releasing tight muscles.


How Can Hydrotherapy Help?

Hydrotherapy has been shown to be a valuable addition or alternative to land-based treatment for a wide variety of conditions, including:

  • Arthritis (osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis)

  • Acute and chronic back and neck pain

  • Peripheral musculoskeletal pain; for example shoulder impingement or anterior knee pain

  • Post orthopaedic surgery; such as a hip or knee replacement, ligament reconstructions or rotator cuff repair

  • Post neurosurgery such as spinal fusion or laminectomy

  • Neurological conditions, for example CVA, multiple sclerosis or fibromyalgia

  • Chronic respiratory issues including COPD and asthma

  • Acute sports injuries