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Hydrotherapy-for-neurological-conditions | Blog | Physio.co.uk | Leading physiotherapy provider in Liverpool and Manchester.

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6 Minshull Street, Manchester, M1 3ED
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86 Worsley Road, Eccles, Manchester, M30 8LS
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The Strand Medical Centre, The Strand, Kirkholt, Rochdale, OL11 2JG
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‘A therapy programme utilising the properties of water, designed by a suitably qualified physiotherapist specifically for an individual to improve function, carried out by appropriately trained personnel, ideally in a purpose built, and suitably heated hydrotherapy pool.’ – (Hydrotherapy Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (HACP), 2005).

Hydrotherapy is one of the great treatment approaches we use at physio.co.uk. to help improve recovery with our neurological patients.

Due to the physical principles of water, we are able to provide a safe environment for our patients to experience movement and gain significant benefits in flexibility, strength and stamina.

Hydrotherapy sessionThe physical principles of hydrotherapy

  • Buoyancy
  • Hydrostatic pressure
  • Turbulence
  • Viscosity
  • Meta centric effect

Benefits of hydrotherapy

  • Reduction of oedema and increased circulation

Hydrostatic pressure

Active muscle pump

  • Joint range of movement and flexibility

Warm water temperature assists muscle stretch

Gravity and buoyancy assisted

  • Improved cardiovascular fitness

Increased blood flow

Resistance work using qualities of water

  • Pain relief and reduced muscle spasm

Movement aided by gravity

Water temperature

Suppression of the sympathetic nervous system

  • Improved endurance and strength

Resistance of water and floats at different speeds


  • Re-education of Functional movement

Hydrotherapy is ideal for those who struggle to move easily on land and may have reduced confidence due to decreased balance, coordination of strength.

  • Enjoyment

A fun way to exercise on you own or within a group, a great way to regain confidence or meet new people.Hydrotherapy sessionTemperature/Humidity

  • A hydrotherapy pool is warmer than a normal pool, a hydrotherapy pool is maintained within a range of 32 to 36 degrees Celsius.
  • The humidity of the pool is maintained within the range of 50-65% percent
  • The air temperature in the pool is maintained within 25 to 28 Celsius

Physiology of Immersion- interesting facts related to hydrotherapy

  • The heart increases in size by 30% in 6 seconds
  • Urine output is increased from 1 ml-7ml/min

Hydrotherapy treatment techniques

  • Isometric, concentric, eccentric muscle actions during immersion
  • Movement in water using Buoyancy assisted/resisted/counterbalanced techniques
  • Assisted- using the buoyancy of the with water- easier with a float
  • Resisted- push down against buoyancy- harder with a float
  • Counterbalanced-moving parallel to the level of the water

How to progress

  • Positioning- prone, supine, side lying
  • Long/short levers
  • Change of speed
  • Duration
  • Turbulence of water
  • Use of weight or float depending on effect wanted

Halliwick technique

A logical approach to sensory motor learning, with the aim to gain independent floating

Using these concept instructors can encourage their swimmers to experience the enormous sense of satisfaction and freedom that stems from a greater independence in the water.

There is a 10-point programme:

  1. The Ten Point Programme
  2. Adjustment to Water
  3. Breath Control
  4. Entries, Exits and Supporting Swimmers in the Water
  5. Rotations
  6. Up thrust
  7. Balance in Stillness
  8. Moment Through Water
  9. Effects of Water
  10. Teaching in the Water
  11. Games/Activities and Group Work
  12. Progress of the Swimmer
  13. People with Disabilities
  14. Assisting at the Pool
  15. Safety
  16. Instructor/Helper Training

Hydrotherapy Session

Useful links for courses/resources:

Hydrotherapy Association of Chartered Physiotherapists 

HALLIWICK AST The Association of Swimming Therapy

Pool Water treatment advisory Group