Hydrotherapy, also called Aquatic Physiotherapy, is low impact injury rehabilitation completed entirely in water.  The aim of Hydrotherapy is to decrease pain, increase range of movement and flexibility as well as develop muscle strength and improve general fitness.


Hydrotherapy has been shown to be a valuable addition or alternative to land-based treatment for a wide variety of conditions, including:

  • Arthritis (osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Acute and chronic back and neck pain
  • Peripheral musculoskeletal pain; for example shoulder impingement or anterior knee pain
  • Post orthopaedic surgery; such as a hip or knee replacement, ligament reconstructions or rotator cuff repair
  • Post neurosurgery such as spinal fusion or laminectomy
  • Neurological conditions, for example CVA, multiple sclerosis or fibromyalgia
  • Chronic respiratory issues including COPD and asthma
  • Acute sports injuries


A hydrotherapy session may include stretching, strengthening, functional training, balance, core strengthening and cardiovascular fitness training.A physiotherapist conducts the sessions, which usually last between 30-45 minutes for an individual session or 60 minutes for a group session.Water provides a unique environment for exercise, and three key properties of water are used to great advantage during hydrotherapy sessions.

  1. The warmth of the water (usually about 33°) is used to relax tight muscles and loosen up stiff joints.
  2. The buoyancy of the water minimizes the effect of gravity and decreases the stresses placed on joints during movement. People who are unable to support their body-weight on land are able to exercise more effectively in the water.
  3. The resistance provided by the water is used to modify exercise intensity. Water provides varied resistance to exercise depending on the speed of movement, and the shape of the body part being moved.

Exercises can be individually tailored to each participant, to allow for all ability levels and treatment goals. They can start with very basic exercises for the weak or deconditioned person, and progress to high level sports-specific drills for the sports-person keen to return to high level training and competition.

Medicare Bulk Billed Group Hydrotherapy Classes are available for eligible people through the Team Care Arrangements. Ask your GP whether you are eligible to receive up to 5 clinic-based Cardiovascular assessments and 20 Group Hydrotherapy Sessions attended over a ten week period. For more information, contact us on (07) 4751 8835.

Otherwise, we charge $10 per session. Private patients can pay this over the phone or in person at their next practice appointment. Hydrotherapy is claimable through your extras with most Private Health Insurance policies.Workers compensation or CTP costs are paid by the insurer.

Don’t forget that the Northern Beaches Leisure Centre also charges a small pool entry fee. This must be paid each session by all patients. Patients with a workers compensation claim may keep their receipts for reimbursement by their insurer. Visit the Northern Beaches Leisure Centre website for more information.

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