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The use of water as a therapy modality certainly is not a new one, with records dating back to Egyptian, Roman and Greek times.

So why water? What is all the fuss about?

Water is the only element on earth that can de-load the body of gravity, whilst still providing resistance (drag) to strengthen muscles. Add in some warmth (a toasty 36 degrees) and you have a textbook perfect environment for rehabilitation.

I myself am a keen swimming, have represented my county for swimming, worked as lifeguard and a pool-swimming instructor, I’m no stranger to getting my hair wet.

By examining some of the properties of water, we can see how a hydrotherapy pool is an ideal environment for completing rehabilitation:

  • Hydrostatic pressure
  • Up-thrust
  • Relative density
  • Turbulence
  • Drag

A bit of science so bear with me. What do all these words mean?

Hydrostatic pressure – The pressure waters puts onto the body when submerged. This pressure can help reduce swelling in limbs and contributes to why it is easier to maintain balance in still water.

Up-thrust – This is one of the main reasons you can float. This can help by de-weighting joints in therapy and creating resistance if you work against buoyancy. This property allows even the most severely impaired people to partake in hydrotherapy.

Relative density – The relative density of an object depends on the mass and volume. If we are being technical, Relative density= Mass ÷ Volume. As long as the relative density of a person is less than 1 (which is the majority or people), we have a floater. If it is greater than 1 we have a sinker.

Turbulence – Flow pattern of the fluid. If a fluid is turbulent, there are chaotic changes in in velocity and pressure in the water. This can make moving in water easier but balancing in standing harder.

Drag – The force on