Hydrotherapy is a therapy programme utilising the properties of warm water, specifically designed by a suitably qualified physiotherapist for an individual to maximise function which can be physical, physiological or psychological.
At the IPS we are extremely passionate about the benefits of hydrotherapy, and are very proud to have a highly skilled and very motivated aquatic specialist physiotherapist - Liz Davies, who can deliver a hydrotherapy programme. We have access to a specialist purpose built hydrotherapy pool and also to 4 star spa facilities to ensure the environment is more than fit for purpose to achieve any individual's set goals.
Hydrotherapy utilises the unique properties of water to aide rehabilitation particularly when exercising on land proves difficult. This could be due to reasons such as pain, fear of falling, post- operative weight bearing restrictions and muscle weakness.
Water provides natural resistance which can be used to strengthen muscles and improve fitness and stamina. The water's buoyancy assists movement through the water by decreasing the effects of gravity. This relieves stress through injured or painful joints and muscles. Physiotherapeutic techniques within the water can also have positive effects on muscle tone, pain, chronic and post-operative swelling, and joint range of motion. Psychological benefits of hydrotherapy include relaxation and an improved sense of wellbeing.
Hydrotherapy and land based physiotherapy can work well in conjunction with one another and this can prove to be very effective in speeding up the process in which rehabilitation goals are achieved.
It is not necessary to be able to swim to take part in hydrotherapy. Similarly, the whole body does not need to be immersed i.e the head can stay firmly above the water's surface!
It is recommended that a land based assessment be completed at the physiotherapy clinic or at home prior to commencing hydrotherapy. This is to ensure that hydrotherapy is the most appropriate form of treatment to meet the individual's needs. If hydrotherapy is deemed appropriate, goals of therapy can be agreed following assessment of physical ability and function. Requirements for changing and access into the pool will be discussed and planned at this appointment also. Hydrotherapy will consist of one to one treatment sessions with a highly specialised aquatic physiotherapist in a suitable pool. The specialist individual programme will be monitored and progressed accordingly to ensure the most effective outcomes are reached.
Hydrotherapy can help people with many types of neurological conditions such as brain and spinal cord injury, stroke, MS, cerebral palsy and Parkinson's disease. People with a neurological condition will often be able to achieve movement in the water that can be very difficult to perform on land. By using the water to stretch and mobilise, and by enhancing the stimulation of the skin receptors by the warmth of the water, this can help reduce neurological and/or secondary musculoskeletal pain.
Muscle spasm and muscle tone can be influenced by exercise in the water by increasing the use of the core stability muscles, global relaxation, muscle lengthening and passive mobilisation. Core control and balance can be retrained in the water without the fear of falling.
Hydrotherapy can help speed up recovery from sport injuries, or other joint problems, joint and muscle pain. This is due to the protective nature of the water allowing exercise either with assistance from the water, or with mild resistance whilst the affected area is supported by the water. Along with stretching of tight muscles, strengthening of weak muscles and decreasing pain individuals can improve their symptoms effectively.
Hydrotherapy can assist in a much quicker recovery following joint, back, abdominal or lower limb surgery. This is due to the water allowing functional exercise to occur within given post-operative weight restrictions, and cushioning of the joints by the water itself. The warm water increases some internal physiological processes therefore aiding the healing process. The hydrostatic pressure of the water can help the lymphatic system of the body drain away excess fluid and swelling.
There is no better place to retrain balance and core stability than in the water! The fear of falling is eliminated as the water surrounds and protects the body. When balance is lost, the process of losing balance is so slow that an individual has plenty of time to use their own balance systems to correct their position. This assists with retraining the individuals balance reactions and responses, without the need to rely upon a walking aid or furniture.
If you feel you would benefit from hydrotherapy, please call our administration office and our hydrotherapy specialist physiotherapist will be more than happy to discuss whether hydrotherapy is an appropriate option for you.
Please contact us for more information or to book an appointment at any one of our occupational health clinics.
Our admin hours are 08:30 to 17:00. Outside of these hours you can send us a message or request a callback.
The Independent General Practice