Hydrotherapy

About this service

The Hydrotherapy Service provides treatment, by a physiotherapist, for a wide range of people with varying conditions and abilities. The pool is purpose built and easily accessible. It is kept at a temperature of between 34 and 35.5 degrees Celsius. The warmth and properties of the water make movement more comfortable, whilst helping to improve strength and function.

Your GP or consultant may refer you for hydrotherapy if they feel it might be beneficial. Alternatively, if you are already receiving physiotherapy treatment, the therapist can also refer you to hydrotherapy.

On average, we are only able to see you for up to 6 sessions in our pool. Not only do we encourage a self-management healthcare ethos but due to high referral rates we need to ensure the service is available to all. However, once you have completed your course of hydrotherapy we will encourage you to attend a local pool to carry on the exercises you have been shown.

Our facilities

  • 4ft in the shallow end, 4ft 6” in the deep end
  • Temperature maintained between 34-35.5 °C.
  • Shallow steps to access with 2 handrails
  • Handrails throughout the perimeter of the pool
  • Hoist available for pool entry, chair or bed
  • Curtained cubicles for dressing
  • Showers poolside and lockers available for valuables
Hydrotherapy pool with chair hoist visible.

What conditions can benefit from Hydrotherapy?

The beauty of hydrotherapy is its suitability to a wide range of patients and its ability to treat the whole body as well as specific joints. Some examples include:

  • Low Back Pain
  • Post fracture/orthopaedic surgery
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Fibromyalgia syndrome or people with global conditions with 2 or more joints affected
  • Neurological conditions or events, e.g. MS, Parkinson’s, stroke or spinal cord injuries
  • Multiple trauma
  • Fallers
  • Hypermobility Syndrome
  • Paediatric conditions, e.g. Perthes, Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
  • Stiff and painful joints which are too painful to treat ‘on land’

Hydrotherapy is NOT appropriate if you are experiencing any of the following

  • Feeling generally unwell
  • Open wounds or skin infections
  • Cold, virus, raised temperature
  • Diarrhoea and, or vomiting – must be at least 3 days clear of symptoms
  • Incontinence
  • Angina, cardiac and respiratory conditions (or under investigation) – this will be discussed and screened further by your referring Physiotherapist prior to hydrotherapy
  • Shortness of breath on lying flat
  • Weight over 25 stone (due to the capacity of the hoisting equipment)

Contact information

Where to find us

The hydrotherapy pool is situated within Dolphin House, Trelawny Wing at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro. Currently there is building work in the car park in front of Dolphin House, so if you are coming to the department, you will need to park in the main car park opposite the Trelawny entrance. Walk through the Trelawny entrance and about halfway down the corridor take a left turn through the Trauma Assessment Unit. Walk all the way through to the end, through the double doors to a covered walkway. The hydrotherapy department is at the end of this walkway.

Hydrotherapy exercises

These are example exercises for the spine, upper limbs and lower limbs. Please, check with a healthcare professional or GP if you have any concerns regarding exercising with a specific condition.

You don’t always need specialist equipment nor a purpose-built hydrotherapy pool to perform the exercises.

Remember to drink water before, during and after exercising and to start slowly and warm up gently if you are new to exercising in water. Work at a level you feel comfortable at and appropriate to your own level of fitness.

FAQs

Do I need to be a strong swimmer?

You do not need to be able to swim to use our hydrotherapy pool. The pool is 4 feet deep as you enter and 4 feet 6 inches at its deepest. There is a rail the whole way around the pool.

Please let the Physiotherapist know if you are feeling nervous or anxious about your treatment. You will be supervised and assisted throughout your hydrotherapy session.

Are there any side effects?

The warmth of the water and exercise may make you feel tired – this is perfectly normal and should improve after a few sessions.

After treatment it is advisable to have a shower. This will remove the chlorine from your skin and help you to cool down before you get dressed.

We have a water fountain located in the pool waiting area and we encourage you to have a drink after each session. You may bring your own water bottle poolside.
If at any stage you feel faint, dizzy and generally unwell or experience chest pain you must tell your Physiotherapist.

How do I get a hydrotherapy referral?

Your GP or consultant may refer you for hydrotherapy if he/she feels it might be beneficial. Alternatively, if you are already receiving physiotherapy treatment, the therapist can also refer you to hydrotherapy.

Your appointment will be arranged by the booking office initially, then any follow-up appointments by the hydrotherapy team. Each session lasts for approximately 30 minutes. There will be up to 4 patients in the pool at one time, but your programme will be individually tailored towards your needs. You will have been assessed before this either by your physiotherapist or by one of the Hydrotherapy Physiotherapists.

The sessions are run with both you and the Physiotherapist or Technical Instructor/assistant in the pool, where you will complete a variety of exercises appropriate to your condition.

What happens when I am discharged?

On average, we are only able to see you for up to 6 sessions in our pool. Not only do we encourage a self-management healthcare ethos but due to high referral rates we need to ensure the service is available to all.

However, once you have completed your course of hydrotherapy we will encourage you to attend a local pool to carry on the exercises you have been shown.

Page last reviewed: 3 May 2023

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