Hydrotherapy – Patient Information Leaflet

Hydrotherapy is the use of water in the treatment of different conditions

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  • Introduction

    Physiotherapists may use hydrotherapy as part of your treatment programme; this leaflet tells you about hydrotherapy.

  • What is hydrotherapy?

    Hydrotherapy means treatment with water (hydro). It involves carrying out treatment in a small pool that is specially heated so that it is warmer than a swimming pool.

  • How will I know if I should be having hydrotherapy?

    Your physiotherapist will suggest this to you if s/he feels it is right for you and the problems that you currently have.

    You do not have to be able to swim to be able to have treatment in the hydrotherapy pool.

  • How will I get into the hydrotherapy pool?

    There are two methods of getting you into the pool. There are small steps with a hand rail or a ceiling track hoist. Your therapist will provide you with as much assistance as you require with both these methods.

  • What will happen while I am in the hydrotherapy pool?

    You will be asked to shower before you enter the pool and again on leaving the pool. Once you are in the pool, your therapist will carry out a treatment programme specific to you, using the properties of the warm water to assist. Your session will last around 20 to 30 minutes but will be individually assessed.

  • How many people will there be in the hydrotherapy pool?

    While you are in the water there will be physiotherapy staff in the pool with you and there will be at least one other member of staff on the poolside. Other patients may also be having therapy in the pool at the same time as you. If you would prefer not to have other patients in the pool with you, you can discuss this with your physiotherapist.

  • What should I wear?

    To use the pool you will need to wear appropriate swim wear and bring a change of clothes for afterwards. You may also want to bring showering products. If you have long hair it will need to be tied back or you may wish to wear a swimming cap. There are accessible changing facilities next to the pool. If you require assistance to get changed, please discuss this with your physiotherapist so that an appropriate plan can be made. It is advised that you are already wearing your swimwear on arrival to your session with clothes that can be easily removed, i.e. dressing gown.

    Please note: If you have experienced vomiting or diarrhoea within two weeks of your hydrotherapy appointment, you will be unable to enter the pool due to infection control risks.

  • My physiotherapist has not suggested hydrotherapy to me, why would this be?

    Hydrotherapy is not suitable for treating all the problems that you might be seeing your physiotherapist about. It also depends on what stage in your rehabilitation you are at. There are also specific reasons why you should not have treatment in the hydro pool, which your therapist can discuss with you.

  • And finally..!

    The warmth of the water and the exercises you have carried out may cause you to become tired and dehydrated. It is important that you drink plenty of water and rest for a while after your hydrotherapy treatment.

    You must let your physiotherapist know if you feel at all unwell during this time.

  • For further information contact your physiotherapist:


    Walkergate Park
    Benfield Road
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    NE6 4QD

    Main telephone number: 0191 287 5000

    Direct number: 0191 287……………………………


  • What if I have a comment, suggestion, compliment or complaint about the service?

    If you want to make a comment, suggestion, compliment or complaint you can:
    • talk to the people directly involved in your care
    • ask a member of staff for a feedback form, or complete a form on the Trust website www.cntw.nhs.uk (click on the ‘Contact Us’ tab)
    • telephone the Complaints Department 0191 245 6672
    • email [email protected] Please note that information sent to the Trust via email is sent at your own risk
    • We are always looking at ways to improve services. Your feedback allows us to monitor the quality of our services and act upon issues that you bring to our attention.
    You can provide feedback in the following ways:
    – the quickest way for you to do this is to complete our short online survey at
    – complete a Points of You survey, available from staff.

  • Information about content, other formats and version control

    Further information about the content, reference sources or production of this leaflet can be obtained from the Patient Information Centre. If you would like to tell us what you think about this leaflet please get in touch.

    This information can be made available in a range of formats on request (eg Braille, audio, larger print, easy read, BSL or other languages). Please contact the Patient Information Centre Tel: 0191 246 7288

    Published by the Patient Information Centre
    2022 Copyright, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
    Ref, PIC/153/1222 December 2022 V6
    www.cntw.nhs.uk Tel: 0191 246 7288
    Review date 2025