Hydrotherapy Vs Land-Based Physiotherapy

Should I do Hydrotherapy or Land Therapy?

We often get asked whether hydrotherapy is better than land-based phsyiotherapy? When one is better than the other?

We want to correct the notion that hydrotherapy is better than land therapy and vice versa - both are good, depending on what your specific needs are, and what your physiotherapist might suggest. 


Where is Hydrotherapy Usually Done?

Hydrotherapy is (essentially) physiotherapy conducted in a pool and so usually it should be a warmer pool between 30 and 36 degrees Celsius and normally indoors so that the air temperature is controlled for.

What Type of Exercises are Involved?

You'll be doing a whole range of exercises and that could include walking, jogging, jumping, running.

It could include some strength exercises where you use the resistance of pool noodles and kick boards and other therapeutic devices that we have as physiotherapists. 

Other activities include balance and stability exercises using the turbulence of the water of other people moving around. 

Other principles that are used include using different depths - in the water when you're up to your belly button, you only weigh about 50% roughly of what you normally would weigh on land! 

And, did you know that you only weigh about 10% of what you normally weigh when the water is above your collarbones? 

If you're recovering from surgery and you can't put your full weight through your leg, being in the water up to your neck means that you can put weight through that leg (if your surgeon allows) and still continue your rehab, or accelerate the process.


What If I Just Had A Surgery or Repair?

If you just had a surgery or repair, such as:

  • Total knee replacement
  • Total hip replacement
  • Arthroscope of your knee
  • Shoulder repair of your rotator cuff,

After surgery when your wounds have healed up is a great time to get in the pool.

You can do more in the pool than you can if you're on the land or in the gym.

When you've exhausted all of your exercises in the pool and you can do them easily, comfortably, and pain free - that's when it's time to get out of the pool, back on the land and get into the gym.

However, if you have a condition such as osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia or chronic pain, sometimes staying in the pool and continuing a regular hydrotherapy program is a really good activity because it's low-impact and it doesn't put too much force on your joints.

The pool water is warm, and you can do the exercise that you need to do without those side effects of land based therapy.

Talk to our expert physiotherapist team today for more details. Give us a call or shoot us an email, we will always be happy to answer your questions and work out what the best treatment plan is for you to achieve your goals so that you move well and feel great.