Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy is water based therapy used in the treatment of different conditions, including Fibromyalgia. Hydrotherapy differs from swimming as it involves specific exercises performed in warm water, utilising both buoyancy and resistance to assist movement and build strength.

The purpose built Hydrotherapy Centre at St Joseph’s Hospital offers an exceptional environment for rehabilitation and recovery. The pool is kept at a temperature of 35 degrees centigrade, which is much warmer than a normal swimming pool, allowing muscles to relax and enable better quality movement. To accommodate variable levels of mobility, the pool has both step and hoist entry with depth zones from 1.1 meters up to 1.6 metres. 

Evidence has shown that hydrotherapy can improve strength and general fitness in people with various types of musculoskeletal and pain based disorders. The exercises are tailored to your individual needs, so you can start slowly and gradually build up your strength and flexibility.

The extra support provided by the water allows you to move more easily and undertake more exercise than normal. Your physiotherapist will advise and guide you with appropriate exercises. 

Your physiotherapist may also suggest aqua therapy for specific long-term conditions.

Hydrotherapy can help you in a number of different ways:

  • the warmth of the water allows your muscles to relax and eases the pain in your joints, helping you to move more freely
  • water supports your weight, which helps to relieve pain and increase the range of joint movement
  • water can be used to provide resistance. By pushing your arms and legs against water resistance, you can improve your muscle strength (Arthritis Research UK, 2015)

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