Aquatic Physiotherapy… What is that?

Aquatic physiotherapy, or also known as hydrotherapy, is a form of physiotherapy intervention which uses the properties of warm water and buoyancy to help achieve your goals. 


Aquatic physiotherapy is a great adjunct to land based therapy, and is fun and engaging for all ages! 


Some of the benefits of aquatic physiotherapy include:

  • Improvement in joint range of motion 

  • Improvements in muscle strength 

  • Improvements in gross motor skills 

  • Improved balance 

  • Pain management 

  • Low impact sport for people with hypermobility

  • Cardiovascular fitness 

  • Promotes water confidence

Who would benefit from Aquatic physiotherapy?

Aquatic physiotherapy is great for people with multiple concerns or conditions. 

  • Post surgery – e.g. Perthes disease, tendon lengthening, fracture and ACL repairs

  • Children with delayed development 

  • Children with a disability, e.g. cerebral palsy

  • Children with hypermobility that require a low impact activity option

  • Children with hypertonia or hypotonia 

  • Children with weakness

So what will it look like?

First, your physio will discuss your goals and work with you to decide if aquatic physio is the best treatment option to help you meet those goals. Then they will complete a land based initial assessment so that we know what to target in the pool. 

Depending on your goals, we typically run our session weekly for a 5-6 week block. Sessions will be run in a structured way, so that you get 1:1 time with your therapist, but you also may have a time when your session overlaps with another child.

Depending on age, swimming ability and other factors, parents will be required to be present in the pool and actively engaged in the session with their child. 

All aquatic physiotherapy sessions will be 60 minutes long, although this will not be the entire time spent in the pool itself. You will most likely be physically in the pool for 30-45 minutes. This is often more than enough time for younger kids, as it is quite exhausting. 

What will I need to bring for my session?

It might seem easy, but being in a pool can be just as tiring as working out on land! It can also be thirsty work, so make sure you bring the following:

  • Drink bottle

  • Goggles

  • Continence aids (e.g. swimming nappy)

  • Medications (pool side e.g ventolin)

  • Towel

  • Swimming attire

So wait… do I need to know how to swim?

Being able to swim is absolutely not essential for aquatic physiotherapy. Just like you don’t need to be able to walk independently to do physio on land. We will create a program that is suited to your swimming ability and water confidence. 

How much will it cost?

If you are NDIS, the session can be covered under your plan at the NDIS physiotherapy rate. Please note that the NDIS does not cover additional costs such as entry to the pool, as this is seen as a cost that all people, regardless of ability, are expected to pay. 

For more information, please get in touch with us at Canobolas Kids Physio and we can provide more information. 

Hope the rest of your day goes swimmingly!