Aquatic Physiotherapy, also known as hydrotherapy, is exercise that is performed in a pool, using the properties of water (and sometimes equipment) to facilitate, assist and/or resist movement. Importantly, it helps reduce the load taken through the joints by reducing the effects of gravity.
Aquatic Physiotherapy can be used as a form of rehabilitation to aid joint range of motion, strengthen muscles and ease aches and pains by utilising the following three properties of water:
- Buoyancy – allows the body to move more comfortably and freely in the water by assisting and facilitating movement. It can assist in regaining mobility and performing activities that may not be achievable out of the pool. Extra buoyancy can be provided by using equipment such as floats and noodles.
- Resistance – the resistance of the water, as well as resistance from equipment such as paddles, floats, kickboards and noodles, can increase the effort required by the muscles to improve strength, power and conditioning.
- Turbulence – to challenge balance and stability.
Our pool at the Next Generation gym is uniform in depth at 1.2m, with most people standing chest deep in the water. This assists with reducing load on the joints, muscles, and ligaments of the legs and back by around 30% when compared with your usual bodyweight.
Aquatic physiotherapy can assist with:
- Post-operative rehabilitation for a variety of joint and back surgeries.
- Post injury rehabilitation.
- Osteoarthritis management, including as a pool-based GLA:D program for hip and/or knee osteoarthritis if a joint is too sore to do a land-based program.
- Pain management.
- Antenatal exercise.
- Postural and balance re-training.
- Improving strength, flexibility and conditioning.
- Correction of muscle imbalances and re-gaining joint range of motion.
- Gait re-education, including transitioning off a walking aid post injury or surgery.
- Confidence of movement in a reduced load environment.
- Muscle relaxation.
What to expect
- An initial, 40-minute assessment, either with your treating Physiotherapist or the Aquatic Physiotherapist, who will perform a comprehensive assessment and set goals for you based on these findings.
- Two to three individual, 30-minute sessions in the pool to establish a suitable program for you, to teach you the correct technique for these exercises and ensure you are confident and safe before joining our small group classes.
- Progression to 30-minute, small group classes run by an Aquatic Physiotherapist, with a maximum of six participants. Individual and group sessions may be claimable as physiotherapy extras through your private health fund. Please check with your fund to confirm.
All Aquatic Physiotherapy sessions are run at our Next Gen clinic and utilise the Next Gen gymnasium pool. The pool is heated, easily accessed via stairs and is a consistent 1.2m depth.