Aquatic Physiotherapy

Aquatic physiotherapy or hydrotherapy is physiotherapy practised in warm water in a specialised aquatic pool much smaller than a public swimming pool and used specifically for therapeutic purposes.

The temperature of the water is maintained within a range 32 to 36 degrees Celsius and the combination of warmth and the natural buoyancy of the water allows the muscles to relax and reduces stress on the joints allowing a greater freedom of movement than on land.

Aquatic physiotherapy can relieve aches and pains, help mobilise stiff joints and strengthen weak muscles as the properties of the water support the body and enable movement with less effort than out of the pool.

Would aquatic physiotherapy help me?

Aquatic physiotherapy is beneficial for a number of conditions. We treat patients with wide ranging conditions from orthopaedic referrals for post-operative rehabilitation to neurological problems, musculoskeletal injury management and cardiac rehabilitation to women’s health, chronic pain and more.

In addition, aside from the physical benefits aquatic physiotherapy can bring, being able to exercise in water when previously unable to exercise on land due to pain or restrictions of surgery, injury or disease can be a real boost to morale.

What can I expect?

We are the only private hospital in Leicestershire to offer an aquatic physiotherapy service. Our sessions are run on a Thursday afternoon by our chartered physiotherapists who are trained to the Aquatic Therapy Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (ATACP) Foundation Course Level. Two of the team are present at each class session (maximum class size of five) with one of them in the water for the whole of the session.

Before starting a course of aquatic physiotherapy, our physiotherapist will undertake a land based assessment with you, discussing your condition or injury and looking at your function and range of movement in order to plan what can be achieved in the pool.

Following this assessment, you join a class and commence your programme of individualised aqua physiotherapy sessions in the pool.

At the end of the programme there is a final land-based reassessment.

We use the aquatic pool at the Leicester General Hospital which was extensively refurbished in the spring of 2014. There are changing facilities at poolside for you to change into your swimming costume and we provide towels for you to use during the session.

Is this therapy suitable for children?

Aquatic physiotherapy is suitable for adults and children. We accept referrals for this service from aged eight years and upwards.

How can I access this service?

Whether you have a GP referral for physiotherapy or would like to self-refer, please call our physiotherapy department direct on 0116 265 3653 and have a chat with one of our physiotherapy team to establish your suitability for this form of physiotherapy treatment, or email the department at