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  • Writer's pictureDeb Banning

What is Hydrotherapy and What are the Benefits of Hydrotherapy?

Updated: Sep 15, 2022

Have you tried hydrotherapy? If you are seeking a drug-free pain management option, are recovering from an injury, have joint pain, risk of falls, weight issues, are in a wheelchair, or have difficulty standing or walking, hydrotherapy may be an excellent solution for you.

Hydrotherapy involves the use of hot or cold water for exercise-derived therapeutic benefits and can include swimming, water aerobics, water strength exercises, and water Tai Chi. Research has proven that hydrotherapy (water-based exercise) is highly beneficial for your health and can deliver benefits that cannot be achieved with land-based exercise.

Hydrotherapy can be used to treat joint pain, weight issues, neurological conditions, respiratory conditions, and improve mental health overall. Hydrotherapy in warm water can reduce pain, swelling and load on joints while also promoting muscle relaxation and overall improved sense of wellness. The water provides buoyancy, which reduces the weight that joints, bones, and muscles have to bear.

Hydrotherapy in different water temperatures can deliver different health benefits - so what form of hydrotherapy could you benefit from?

Cold Water Hydrotherapy

Cold-Water Hydrotherapy is exercise in cold water, which has various health benefits including:

  • Improves cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure and heart rate;

  • Improves mental health by reducing levels of our stress hormone cortisol and increasing levels of our feel-good chemical dopamine;

  • Assists with weight management by increasing our metabolic rate by up to 350% as your body burns energy to try keep warm and exercise against water resistance;

  • Reduces pain by using the buoyancy of the water to reduce the load on joints and also blocks pain nerve receptors;

  • Allows people with impaired temperature regulation to exercise safely without overheating;

  • Improves respiratory function, aerobic fitness, quality of life, and reduces frequency of respiratory infections for people with respiratory conditions;

  • Reduces muscle spasm, delayed onset muscle soreness, and fatigue; and

  • Reduces lower back pain by improving endurance of back muscles, functional mobility, and severity of pain.

Hot Water Hydrotherapy

Hot-Water Hydrotherapy is exercise in water that is heated to 34° Celsius to 60° Celsius and has various health benefits, including:

  • Improves exercise capacity through increased cardiac function and vasodilation;

  • Improves cholesterol by reducing the bad Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) and increasing the good High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL).

  • Reduces numbness in extremities including legs and feet by increasing peripheral blood flow.

  • Reduces muscle spasms and promotes muscle relaxation for people with neurological conditions.

  • Improves balance, mobility, postural stability, and motor activity for people with neurological conditions. Some people who use a wheelchair for mobility on land can walk or run in the water as the water supports their body weight;

  • Reduces arthritis symptoms including joint swelling and pain; and

  • Improves skin health due to increased blood flow to skin and epidermal barrier function.

Where Can Hydrotherapy Be Delivered?

Across Perth, specially designed and heated hydrotherapy pools can be found at certain local council aquatic and recreation centres including (but not limited to):

  • Aqualife Aquatic Centre in East Victoria Park,

  • Armadale Fitness and Aquatic Centre,

  • Bayswater Waves

  • some large sports injury treatment centres and large gyms.

Across Perth, cold water and heated pools including walking lap lanes are also available at a number of local council aquatic and recreation centres including (but not limited to):

  • AquaLife Centre in East Victoria Park,

  • Armadale Fitness and Aquatic Centre,

  • Beatty Park Leisure Centre in North Perth,

  • Belmont Oasis Leisure Centre,

  • Claremont Aquatic Centre,

  • Fremantle Leisure Centre,

  • Joondalup HBF Arena,

  • Leisure Park Balga

  • Swan Park Leisure Centre, Midvale,

  • Terry Tyzak Aquatic Centre, Inglewood,

  • and also at many large gyms.

Personalised Treatment Aligned to Achieving Your Goals

We are National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) registered and provide hydrotherapy in warm and accessible hydropools across Perth. If you or someone you care about could benefit from hydrotherapy, you should reach out to one of our clinical Exercise Physiologists to discuss further.

We have capacity to provide services to you immediately, right across the broader Perth region with home visits, or with hydrotherapy delivered at a hydropool near you. We'd be delighted to hear from you. We will take the time to understand your goals and what you'd like to achieve as part of a personalised Hydrotherapy Exercise Plan, which is tailored to suit your unique situation.

Tash Thomas is Body Agility's Senior Exercise Physiologist, who delivers hydrotherapy and exercise physiology services right across Perth. If you are seeking hydrotherapy, please contact us to discuss further or call 08 6373 5063.

Research sources:


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