Hydrotherapy is a form of physiotherapy that is performed in water, usually in a heated swimming pool. It may also be described as Aquatic Physiotherapy.
It has been found to be beneficial in many neurological conditions, such as Stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Cerebral Palsy, and other neurological disorders. The buoyancy of the water provides support for the body, which reduces stress on joints and muscles, making it an excellent form of exercise for people who are recovering from injury or illness, or who have mobility problems. Those with mobility issues feel a sense of achievement and independence as they can perform activities in the pool that they are unable to perform on dry land. Exercising in the water reduces anxiety and fear of falling by providing postural support. Flotation devices can also be used as needed.
The benefits of hydrotherapy include:
- Increased movement as warm water helps to decreases joint stiffness
- Can assist with normalisation of muscle tone and promotes relaxation of the muscles. The combination of these effects is likely to relieve pain.
- Water can provide resistance against which we can strengthen weak muscles
- The buoyancy effect of water can facilitate passive stretching
- Water provides a safe environment in which to practice balance and walking
- Helps to improve self-conﬁdence, sense of well-being and relaxation