Hydrotherapy – Paul O’Neill AEP

I often get asked by clients if Hydrotherapy or swimming is right for them. Both are great for overall health and recovery but here are some of the differences. Both Swimming and Hydrotherapy involves the use of water to treat various conditions, such as arthritis or rehab from surgery. Although Hydrotherapy resembles swimming, it is a little different because it requires the individual to undertake different exercises in a warm pool of water. This water is much warmer than what you will encounter in a normal swimming pool. Hydrotherapy treatment is usually conducted by a Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist who has specialized training administers the exercises.

Hydrotherapy relies on its mechanical (pressure) and thermal effects, in order to promote healing. It takes advantage of the body’s reaction to hot stimuli and the pressure put on the body by water. These sensations and effects are then carried deeper into the skin by nerves. When this happens, these sensations stimulate the immune system, thus influencing the release of stress hormones, while improving digestion, circulation and blood flow, as well as reducing the body’s sensitivity to pain. In both Swimming and Hydrotherapy, you are submerged in a pool, leading to a kind of weightlessness. During this period, the water relieves the body of gravity’s effects. In addition, water induces massage like feeling. This helps to increases blood circulation while releasing tight muscles.

Either way pool exercise still helps to improve mobility, flexibility and ROM, decrease swelling and decrease muscle soreness. Have a chat to one of our Exercise Physiologists to see what type of exercise is right for you.