Skip to main content

The Benefits of Hydrotherapy for Rehabilitation

Water is therapeutic in many ways;

  • We need to drink plenty of it to survive
  • There is a sense of calm that comes with being near the ocean
  • There are many applications of water related to health

One of these is hydrotherapy. When you visit a physiotherapist for hydrotherapy, you’ll be moving in water, usually in a pool. There are many benefits of hydrotherapy in rehabilitation. Hydrotherapy is low impact and can be used in the treatment of almost any musculoskeletal problem and pain, and is particularly useful for helping people regain their movement.

Benefits of hydrotherapy in rehabilitation, and beyond

Hydrotherapy is versatile

Hydrotherapy is effective as part of your rehabilitation after a variety of operations; from ankle, to knee, to shoulder to hips. Hydrotherapy for rehabilitation is one of the ways that hydrotherapy is used, but there are plenty others.

One of the benefits of hydrotherapy in rehabilitation is that it can be used to treat people of all ages and abilities, and a variety of conditions from:

  • Arthritis
  • Back pain
  • Chronic pain
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Joint injuries

Hydrotherapy also improves your overall health and wellbeing – more on that below.

Hydrotherapy is effective for post-operation rehab

Another benefit of hydrotherapy in rehabilitation is that exercising in water is low-resistance and a safe way to move as your body recovers from surgery. The water provides additional support and stability. You can gradually build up your training, post operation using the water’s gentle resistance. Or if you are recovering from surgery hydrotherapy provides a supported environment to re-learn movement.

Hydrotherapy is effective for pre-operation rehab

As well as using hydrotherapy for rehabilitation after an operation, we’ve seen that hydrotherapy is also useful as part of a pre-habilitation routine, prior to operations. Hydrotherapy helps to gently strengthen and stretch the muscles around the joint, priming them for surgery. Improving your fitness and strength with hydrotherapy prior to surgery will help ensure a successful surgery and smooth post-operation recovery.

Hydrotherapy will reduce pain and swelling and increase your range of movement

When you move in water, the strain on your joints is buffered. Water offers you a buoyancy that reduces the weight on your joints and muscles so you can move without pressure on your body. This helps to alleviate pain and swelling. For injury recovery, the warmth of the water facilitates increased range of motion as the muscles relax and lengthen.

Hydrotherapy improves fitness and encourages weight loss

Hydrotherapy is less strenuous than land-based exercises, but that doesn’t mean it’s less effective for fitness and weight loss. In fact, because hydrotherapy is easier on your muscles and joints, it means you can often do it for longer than land-based exercises.

The addition of water adds a natural resistance that will increase your fitness, and in many cases lead to weight loss. Resistance builds muscle which helps to burn calories even when you’re not exercising. Hydrotherapy in warm water has been shown to increase blood circulation, and some studies show it produces the same level of cardio-respiratory fitness as exercising on land.

Hydrotherapy helps with your overall health

There’s so many benefits of hydrotherapy in rehabilitation, and many of these are beneficial for your overall well being. Hydrotherapy stimulates blood supply to your organs and boosts your immune system. Hydrotherapy helps to loosen tense, tight muscles; relaxing your muscles is the first step towards getting a good night’s sleep, and getting a good night’s sleep is an essential pillar for your overall health.

Who can do hydrotherapy?

Along with hydrotherapy for rehabilitation for muscle or joint injuries, hydrotherapy can also help with surgery recovery, or if you are having trouble exercising on land. Hydrotherapy is low impact, and so appropriate for a range of ages and abilities – and it’s ok if you don’t know how to swim.

How can Physionorth help and what to expect during a hydrotherapy session with us

When you visit us for a hydrotherapy session, before we get in the water, we’ll do an initial examination to understand what pain or injury you are recovering from and your goals. This will help us develop a pool-based exercise plan for you that is appropriate, safe, and effective. From there, we’ll go to the Tobruk Memorial Baths for your hydrotherapy session.

Whether you are suffering from an injury you have just had surgery, there are plenty of benefits of hydrotherapy in rehabilitation. Get in touch with us today to see if hydrotherapy is the right fit for you.


*All information is general in nature and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Physionorth can consult with you to confirm if this advice is right for you.

Back to All Posts