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What Is Hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy or "aquatic therapy" consists of an exercise programme that is performed in water. It is a form of therapy that is useful for a variety of medical conditions because it uses the physical properties of water to assist in patient healing and exercise performance. The Aquatic Therapy Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (ATACP) defines it as, "A therapy programme utilising the properties of water, designed by a suitably qualified physiotherapist specifically for an individual to improve function, carried out by appropriately trained personnel, ideally in a purpose-built, and suitably heated hydrotherapy pool." Warwickshire Hydrotherapy is a member of the ATACP and all our physiotherapists are CSP and HPC registered.

The unique properties of water are used in the treatment process:


The support of the water takes the weight of the body and limbs. This helps with the movement of stiff or weak joints, or when assistance is required to move a joint or limb (following fracture or surgery). This is extremely useful when normal walking or weight-bearing is restricted or painful.


The water can also be used as resistance to improve strength of weakened muscles or to help with reconditioning following illness. Coupled with the water's buoyancy, this allows a person to strengthen muscle groups with less joint stress, which cannot be achieved on land.


The warmth of the water helps with muscle relaxation and also helps with pain relief. This helps improve the movement of a stiff joint or limb. The warmth also aims to help with general relaxation.

   Hydrostatic Pressure

The pressure exerted by the water will help to reduce swelling. This is how hydrostatic pressure is thought to further help in rehabilitation, particularly after recent injury or surgery.


The turbulence of the water can help improve balance and coordination, which may be impaired after injury or illness.