Hydrotherapy: Common Questions About Physiotherapy and Hydrotherapy

Physio and Hydrotherapy

As physiotherapists, we employ hydrotherapy for the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions such as low back pain, arthritis and returning to walking/exercise after trauma.

Hydrotherapy has also been found to be useful in the treatment of things like insomnia, diabetes and fibromyalgia.

Studies conducted in the past 10yrs have shown that people living with back pain who use hydrotherapy as treatment experienced marked long term reductions in their pain then those who did not use it.

The benefits of this are enormous as it cuts down on drug use, improved mental health and an overall better quality of life... just by exercising in water!


Common Questions About Hydrotherapy

Can I do hydrotherapy after surgery?

Yes! Well that’s the short answer. Once your incisions and wounds have healed (usually 3-4 weeks post-op) you can definitely start doing some hydrotherapy.

It depends on your surgeons instructions (some might ask you not use your affected limb/area for 6 weeks) but it is generally encouraged to start exercising after surgery and the pool is a great place to start.

Not only is it easier and less painful to get moving but the properties of the warm water help speed up healing and improve flexibility


What should I expect from a session of hydrotherapy?

I’ve lost count of the amount of shocked/happy faces I see when my patients get in the pool for the first time!

You should expect things to feel easier and less painful and almost a release from the pressures of gravity and weight bearing.

This is why it is wise to take it easy in your first couple of sessions so that you don’t overdo it whilst you’re are feeling great.

Generally a session should go for 45mins to an hour, including a warm-up and cool-down.

Depending on the condition you are in the pool to treat, your physio will run you through different exercises for this area.

There should be a good deal of walking and exercise to increase your heart rate and a mix of stretching and strengthening exercises

How many times a week do I need to do it?

To start off with I recommend 1-2 x week to get used to the effects of the pool on your body.

Once you are comfortable with the exercises and your body gets used to the pool you can increase this to 2-3 x week.

If hydrotherapy is the only exercise you are able to do, the national guidelines for exercise recommend being active on most, if not all, days of the week and accumulating 2.5 to 5hrs of moderate intensity activity during the week.

This might mean you work up to doing 4-5 sessions in a week over a period of weeks or months


What if I can’t swim?

Surprisingly common question for a country surrounded by water!

It shouldn’t be a problem though.

Most hydrotherapy pools are reasonably shallow and you will only be required to go as deep as you can stand.

Most of the exercises you perform will be in waist to chest high water.

If you’re still worried make sure you go to a pool that is supervised by lifeguards or attend with your physio in the pool with you.


Hydrotherapy and Terrace Physio Plus

At Terrace Physio all of our physiotherapists have received training at university in hydrotherapy and are able to do up a tailored exercise program for your specific needs.

What’s more, one of our senior physiotherapists Chris Stoddard, is available by appointment every Monday (12:30-1:15pm) at Lakeside Leisure Centre pool to guide you through your program and the specifics of each exercise.

If you feel you might benefit from starting a program or are interested in hydrotherapy as an alternative to painkillers or other therapies give us a call or book online with one of our physiotherapists and we can get the ball rolling today!