Specialist Hydrotherapy /Aquatic Physiotherapy for spinal strengthening, minimal load-bearing and supported exercise

Hydrotherapy/Aquatic Physiotherapy is held at Harold Holt Swim Centre, 1409-1413 High St, Glen Iris on Wednesdays from 12-1 pm. Individual therapy and individual exercises in a small group of 1:4 in 1 hour will be available. No large group session is available at the moment.

The hydrotherapy/aquatic physiotherapy service at Caulfield General Medical Centre hydrotherapy pool is still not available (as at 01/07/2024). We do hope it resumes soon.

We can always advise you about what hydrotherapy/aquatic physiotherapy exercises to do in the pool and give you a written list for you to practise on your own if you cannot join our session. We can progress and change these as your condition improves.

Aquatic physiotherapy is physiotherapy treatment in a warm pool (34˚Celsius). It is often commonly referred to as hydrotherapy. Aquatic Physiotherapy/Hydrotherapy is very useful for rehabilitation and exercise when people cannot exercise on land due to weight bearing restrictions, or painful and sensitive conditions.

See the aquatic physiotherapy/hydrotherapy video on our resources page and on our YouTube channel.

Effects of Hydrotherapy/Aquatic Physiotherapy

  • Strengthen weak muscles firstly using the support of buoyancy and then the resistance of moving through the water
  • Reduces muscle spasms and pain due to the warmth of the water
  • Reduced swelling in legs due to the compression from water pressure
  • Increases flexibility and range of movement due to buoyancy assisting the movement
  • Improves balance due to the turbulence and exercise practise
  • Improves walking ability in early rehabilitation as you can practise with less weight bearing with the support of the water and also due to the resistance of walking against the water
  • Increases cardio-vascular fitness for those with low CV fitness due to injury and illness
  • Reduces disc and joint compression due to buoyancy
  • Reduces sympathetic nervous system activity due to warmth
  • Increases relaxation/reduces anxiety due to warmth, buoyancy and the fun of exercising often in a group
  • Improves sense of well-being due to the benefits of exercise and success in movement

Please bring a doctor’s referral if you are covered by CDM (a Medicare Plan) or by Department of Veteran’s Affair. Workcover & TAC patients will be treated if they have a valid claim. There is no out of pocket cost of clients covered by DVA or Worksafe with an approved aquatic physiotherapy treatment plan. THere are out of pocket cost for clients covered by TAC.

To participate in Aquatic physiotherapy/Hydrotherapy sessions you must first be assessed in the clinic so that your problem can be discussed and your medical history checked. This ensures that Aquatic Physiotherapy/Hydrotherapy treatment is the optimal treatment for you, and that it is safe for you to exercise in warm water (the pool temperature is 34 degrees Celsius).

Problems children and adults may have that could benefit from Aquatic Physiotherapy/Hydrotherapy treatment

  • Back pain/ sciatica/lumbar instability and weakness
  • Whiplash
  • Sports injuries and tendinopathy
  • Shoulder and arm pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis /Juvenile Chronic Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • CRPS – Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Work and accident related injuries
  • Rehabilitation after fractures including: ankles, wrists, knees, hips, shoulders and the spine
  • Rehabilitation preparing for or after joint replacements, ligament and tendon repairs

Womens’ Health

  • Back and pelvic pain during and after Pregnancy
  • Exercises for, or to prevent osteoporosis
  • Gentle exercise after liposuction


  • Juvenile Chronic Arthritis
  • CRPS – Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome
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