Hydrotherapy makes use of the physics and properties of water to facilitate exercise therapy and rehabilitation. The sessions are conducted in an indoor heated swimming pool with the biokineticist in the water the entire time to assist with the various exercises; almost everyone can benefit from hydrotherapy, no matter their age, gender or swimming ability.
Buoyancy greatly reduces the effects of gravity thus reducing weight bearing and making movements easier in the water. The effects of hydrostatic pressure help improve circulation throughout the body which helps improve swelling, water retention and inflammation; this in turns assists in reducing associated pain and discomfort making activities of daily living easier to perform.
Balance, coordination and flexibility also become easier to improve in the water which (in the older population) becomes very important in fall prevention. There are also significant improvements in cardiovascular fitness and respiratory rate which improves performance of daily activities of living.
Management of low back pain, which is very common throughout the population, responds very well to hydrotherapy treatment. This is especially true when the sciatic nerve in the lumbar spine is involved which causes referred pain in the buttocks and legs and can be debilitating; patients suffering from cervical spine nerve pain, whether it is local or referred, also benefit from hydrotherapy. The specialised stretch and mobilisation techniques performed with the patient in the water are designed for the sensitive spine in order to loosen the stiff muscles, help the spinal vertebrae to move better and alleviate pain; positive results can even be seen within the first session.