The use of water for various treatments (hydrotherapy) is probably as old as mankind. Hydrotherapy is one of the basic methods of treatments widely used in the system of natural medicine, which is also known as water therapy, aquatic therapy, pool therapy, and balneotherapy. Use of water in various forms and in various temperatures can produce different effects on different systems of the body.
The principle effects of water include buoyany, resistance (viscocity), hydrostatic pressure and surface tension. Understanding these basic principles helps us utilise them to their fullest potential with our patients.
Bouyancy and resistance are the most commonly known principles of water. Bouyancy is the upward thrust placed on a body when they are submerged. The reduced weight bearing load placed on the person means that many post-operative patients and patients with chronic pain can exercise more comfortably with a lot less pain in the water.
The water resistance increases the demand of the limb or person as they propel themselves through the water, making hydrotherapy a very effective way of building strength and increasing range of movement. Also the viscosity of the water as it moves around the skin during exercise can help with tactile sensation and proprioception (joint position awareness) to help improve your balance.
Benefits of Hydrotherapy
Hydrotherapy is researched to beneficial in the treatment of many different conditions including osteoarthritis, rheumatic complaints and chronic peristent pain. Hydrotherapy differs from swimming because it involves special exercises that you do in a warm water pool. The water temperature is heated to a constant temperature of between 33-36oC, which is much warmer than a typical swimming pool.
The therapeutic benefits of immersion in a heated pool include:
One of our highly specialist physiotherapists will be in the pool with you and will show you how to do the exercises. You can discuss and tailor your rehab programme with your physiotherapist to make it a focused, bespoke exercise programme for you. The focus of the exercises will be adjusted to help your range of movement, strength, balance and confidence depending on your symptoms.
Hydrotherapy is different to aqua aerobics, which can be quite strenuous. Hydrotherapy is generally more focused on slow controlled movements and relaxation.
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Where are we?
Wirral Hydro Physiotherapy
The Hydrotherapy Pool
Cherry Tree House
Car Park B
Wirral, CH63 4JY
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