Hydrotherapy Consultation

The pool at the Borders General Hospital

I had my first meeting at the hydrotherapy department in the hospital today. I met the physiotherapist who will be working with me for the next 9/10 weeks.

What is hydrotherapy?

the Arthritis Research Uk website says this..

“Hydrotherapy is the use of water in the treatment of different conditions, including arthritis and related rheumatic complaints. Hydrotherapy differs from swimming because it involves special exercises that you do in a warm-water pool. The water temperature is usually 33–36ºC, which is warmer than a typical swimming pool.

You’ll normally have hydrotherapy treatment within a hospital’s physiotherapy department. Usually a physiotherapist or a physiotherapist’s assistant with specialist training will show you how to do the exercises. The focus of the exercises can be adjusted to help your range of movement or strength, depending on your symptoms.

Hydrotherapy tends to be different to aquarobics, which can be quite strenuous, as it’s generally more focused on slow, controlled movements and relaxation.”


Toady I was not in the water. Today was the pre-therapy consultation appointment. The physiotherapist had a ton of questions about my illness and how it affects me. She had to see how mobile I was so a decision could be made on how to get me in and out of the pool. I was pleased to see a ramp and steps with a double handrail which means I wont have to indignity of being hoisted in! I was expecting a small pool. something along the lines of a hot tub in size but it’s actually a quite large pool and several people can be treated at once. Knowing this I’ll be wearing a T-Shirt to keep my body under wraps and save some of my blushes!

I am excited and hopeful about seeing some benefits from this, an increase in physical strength and decrease in pain. I am apprehensive about the physical kick back after each treatment, knowing I get kick back from a routine consultation just like todays, there is part of me really worried the after effects could be nasty but I guess all I can do is wait and see, hope for the best and plan for the worst.



45 thoughts on “Hydrotherapy Consultation

  1. Thank you friend for sharing this article quite interesting, hopefully we all get real happiness yamg rays began to warm our hearts and make the heart glad, when we can share it with sincere to each other. Affectionate greetings from Gede Prama 🙂 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your wise words Gede Prama, i appreciate them very much. i have read many of your blog posts already and will be reading more, i found great advise on healing, anger and compassion there that i can relate to. my best wishes, shelley

  2. This can have positive effects for the body esp in that exercise of any form improves respiratory, circulatory and digestive systems and generates new cell growth. But I suggest it be “part of” a holistic health regimen and not treatment main protocol. The very early forms of “hydropathy” were pure quackery (taking to the waters) in my opinion but today has evolved into legitimate hydrotherapy which is different and useful health maintenance protocol.

    • Thank you Carl, i am very excited that this will be the start of an upwards climb for my fitness. i am very lucky that my health management team take a holistic approach, because of their input i have cut medications down, cut out a couple completely and hope to continue lowering them. by concentrating on my fitness now they hope i will be well enough to take part in a 12 week pain management programme in march. it’s looking like an exciting year for me! i have spent 6 years being managed by a doctor that only wanted to feed me opiates at high doses and let me rot the rest of my life away. i was actually told one of the medication patches i was on is only generally used in terminal patients because of the cognitive impairment and “haze” you pass your days in! i am rearing to get my life back on track!

  3. I wish you so much luck with this. It’s a much smaller pool than the one I was in, but then I was given a grand total of (2)! that is two sessions! It was at the hospital where my three week pain management course was held and there were so many people in there I felt uncomfortable. (One staff member to 12 people and not one of is very steady on our pins, and that was just out group). Now this was in Australia and the course run by Work Cover, they were b*****ds so my memories of such a short time won’t be the same as yours. I know the reports are really good for hydrotherapy – I believe we weren’t given a fair shot with it.(Umm – Y shirt is best 🙂 )
    I wish you a great result.

    • 1 staff to 12!!!!! that’s incredible! you really didn’t get the best shot with it! i really do feel lucky now! it’s 1 on 1 and she said there may be a couple of other people in with their physios at the most! it’s a rural hospital servicing a large rural area. i think it is around 20years old, before this it was a long trip up to edinburgh for everything. i am looking forward to getting started and i will be blogging about how it goes over the weeks. if i am any fitter at the end of it i will count it a success. i am not expecting miracles. thanks for stopping by.

      • I am wishing you so much success. I know that my experience may be one of the few bad ones, but I do know people have had wonderful experiences. I wish mine had been better, but it totally put me off trying it. After the course it was a matter of come and do the stuff on your own – no therapist, no-one watching out for you and I couldn’t do it. Disappointing – but good luck. I feel it will be good for you 🙂
        Susan x

  4. I look forward to following your progress with the hydrotherapy. It seems like exercising in the water would feel really good and hopefully won’t have such harsh physical consequences as regular exercise. Good luck and enjoy!

    • yes i feel it will be a gentle excerise with less harsh results. hoping to get fitter i bought a large eliptical trainer machine, paying in installments. i could not even climb on it and the few times i managed i couldn’t use it even on the lowest resistance setting! my long term goal is to get on this! i will be blogging how it goes and thanks for your interest.

  5. Living, I truly hope this form or therapy works and works well for you. I too suffer from arthritis, but mine is focalized in the bone. And because of this I had both of my knees replaced and have lived pain free for years. But I remember the agony, the fear, and a level of desperation I went thru prior to the surgery, and because of this my heart goes out to you. Folks find many ways to manage pain. I hope this gives you the relief you truly need. Please take care, Bill

    • My mother-in-law has had a knee replacement surgery just a few months ago and although at the time she said she may not have had it done if she knew just how painful it would be she is now walking up and down a very steep long hill from her home to the high street without much trouble! She had put off the operation for more than 10 years until she couldn’t take a step without terrible pain and finally gave in! I am so glad the surgery was so successful for yourself and i can’t tell you how much i appreciate your empathy. i could definitely use a break from the even the worst of the pain. i am so much happier out of the zombie haze of the strongest medication but it does leave me struggling to cope with the pain at times. i begin the hydrotherapy on the 12th of feb so i have my hopes pinned high, no point going in with low hopes, if i expect it to help then i think it will. i have some bone damage and am likely to need a hip replacement one day far from now but my biggest problem comes from the inflammatory side of things, my muscles and tissues swell up, feel red hot and are excruciatingly painful; thankfully not all over at the same time! where i am affected one day may be gone and moved elsewhere a couple of days later. so strange as it leaves no long term damage over the years. medicine has come such a long way yet there are still so many mysteries!

  6. That is amazing, I would love to have that. I can totally understand your fear of the ‘kick back’ I get those all the time, it just sets a niggling fear in the back of your head all the time, well it does me (you are actually following me on my it’s a lonely place blog 🙂 so thank you, I separated just my mind how I can deal with writing this blog and the other which is very personal. I really hope the hydrotherapy goes well and really look forward to hearing how it all goes.

    • you know i considered having a blog for health and a blog for the memories side but i think they are both interlinked so much and now i am posting my photos as well but again i hope it all clicks into place because all of it makes me who i am. in your case having them separate seems correct. i will happily follow both. i will be posting how the therapy goes, i have my fingers, toes, legs and eyes crossed for luck! it is a great opportunity to start off a recovery of fitness. thanks for understanding the “fear”, hope you get the chance to try it yourself.

      • Thank you. Someone I was talking to the other day said they had had hydrotherapy too and how amazing it was so I look forward to seeing how you get on. Mentally it works for me having my pain blog separate after I wrote in it I tuck it away for a bit and let the other side come out. Lol maybe dual personality. I had zero balancing yesterday I couldn’t tell you the theory of it but I felt hideous yesterday but after so much better 🙂 hugs

        • Thank you, glad to hear another positive experience! I start in the water on the 12th now, can’t wait! Sprry to hear about your hideous day and very glad you’re better today. i haven’t heard of zero balancing but it sounds interesting! when they touch you is it a gentle laying on of hands and manipulation or does it get quite a force behind it? i have places where anything but the lightest touch will set me screaming! my lower spine and from hip to hip areas especially, the thought of anyone pressing there brings me out in a cold sweat! lol! i did find reflexology helped me.. i saw 2 practitioners, the 1st was expensive but it had immediate results then i tried a less expensive lady and it was very different. the 1st lady was based in the city so it was over a 2 hour drive there and back, the petrol money and consultation fee was just too much to do on a regular basis. my husband is my full time carer so we live entirely on benefits and life becomes a game of juggling finaces to make those ends meet and see if there’s anything left over for any treatments. would you mind giving me the link to your pain blog, i have been there but can’t find it now!

  7. I think my mother is doing hydrotherapy right now. I’m not sure if that is exactly it but she does go twice a week to do physical therapy in a pool so I’m sure it’s similar. I hope it heal with her, and you as well. 🙂

  8. As you probably know, but just in case you do not, and depending where you are in your journey, my doctor told me that our bodies protest to any change in routine but if we keep at the activity our body will adjust and settle down. I have learned that my body protests for 10-14 days with an increase of activity. Before my doctor told me that I gave up too soon. It has taken careful planning about how and when to increase my activity, but I am doing the most ever! Good luck! I hope this changes your life!

    • thanks for that, i can see the truth of this.. when i try to implement change there are 2 modes my body can react with. there is “protest” mode, where i experience my body protesting and i can keep at it but take it slow. then there is “shut down” mode where my body has firmly decided no way no how is this happeneing you can forget it. i have half a chance of making it through with the 1st one and nothing to do but give in and try another time with the 2nd. i am hoping for a protest responce!

  9. I hope you see some improvement with this treatment! Like you, I have had some set backs when initially trying some therapies, I used to tell myself “it’s get worse before it gets better.” And the truth is I have seen some improvement. Good luck! I’m eager to hear your progress 🙂

  10. Hi Shelley, Oh I’m so happy for you that you’ve been led to / discovered the amazing healing qualities of water!! From the first days of my recovery, I couldn’t WAIT to get into the water… even if it meant (in the early days) that I had to be lowered into it by lift – what a sight that was! I hope that you will bask in the warmth (warm water, I hope!) and flow… blessings to you.

    • thank you, i managed to avoid being lifted in as they had such a great gentle ramp up to and down intot he pool. unfortunately i was only able to have the one session before the unit closed. fingers crosses it re-opens at some point. i’m very glad you were able to benefit from it fully.

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