Hydrotherapy is the use of
water to treat a disease or to maintain health. The theory behind it is that
water has many properties that give it the ability to heal:
Water can store and carry heat and
Water can dissolve other substances, such as minerals and
Water cannot hurt you, even if you are sensitive to your
Water is found in different forms, such as ice,
liquid, or steam. Ice may be used to cool, liquid is used in baths and
compresses at varying pressures or temperatures, and steam is used in steam
baths or when breathing in.
Water can help blood flow.
Water has a soothing, calming, and relaxing effect
on people, whether in a bath, shower, spray, or compress.
Exercise in water takes the weight off a painful joint while also providing resistance.
What is hydrotherapy used for?
hydrotherapy to treat many illnesses and conditions, including
depression; headaches; stomach problems; joint,
muscle, and nerve problems; sleep disorders; and stress. People also use it for
relaxation and to maintain health.
You can also use hydrotherapy
to reduce or relieve sudden or long-lasting pain.
Is hydrotherapy safe?
Hydrotherapy is generally
safe if treatment is done properly. Different people may respond differently to
the length and intensity of treatment. Some people may have headaches, aches
and pains, sleep problems, nausea, chilliness, and faintness.
is important to discuss your physical condition and medical history with your
doctor or physical therapist before trying hydrotherapy.
tell your doctor if you are using an alternative therapy or if you are thinking
about combining an alternative therapy with your conventional medical
treatment. It may not be safe to forgo your conventional medical treatment and
rely only on an alternative therapy.
Basford JR, Baxter GD (2010). Therapeutic physical agents. In WR Frontera et al., eds., Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Principles and Practice, 5th ed., vol. 2, pp. 1691–1712. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Huyck A, Broderick K (2013). Hydrotherapy. In JE Pizzorno Jr, MT Murray, eds., Textbook of Natural Medicine, 4th ed., pp. 327–416. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.