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Musculoskeletal hydrotherapy

What is hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy is a form of treatment that may be offered to your child following assessment by your physiotherapist. It consists of a programme of exercises undertaken with the supervision of a physiotherapist in a heated pool, over a set period of sessions. An assessment will be completed in the physiotherapy department before your child starts the course of hydrotherapy, during which aims and objectives will be discussed. Following completion, your child will be reassessed on land to monitor any changes to their symptoms.

The physical properties of water can be used to reduce the effects of gravity and provide assistance, support and resistance for exercises.

What are the benefits of my child do hydrotherapy?

There are many benefits to hydrotherapy, including:

  • Reduce pain
  • Increase joint range of movement
  • Improve muscle strength
  • Re-educate walking patterns
  • Improve cardiovascular fitness
  • Improve function and independence
  • Improve quality of life

What will my child do when they arrive at the hydrotherapy pool?

Before starting the first session, your physiotherapist will ensure that your child is well enough to receive the treatment through completion of a health screening questionnaire. It may be appropriate for you to accompany your child into the pool, and in this case the physiotherapist will ask you to complete the questionnaire too.

Private changing facilities and a shower area are provided for use before and after the treatment. Your child will not be expected to swim, and the majority of the exercises will be completed in a standing position. The time spent in the pool ranges from 15 to 30 minutes. Following the session, we advise your child to have a rest and a drink (which are provided in the seated area). It is normal for your child to do more pees than usual following the session.

What does my child need to bring?

Your child will need to bring a swimsuit and a towel. If your child needs to wear a nappy then please make sure that this is a swim nappy, or discuss it with your physiotherapist. Please bring a swimming costume and towel for yourself if you will be getting in the pool.

Can I bring relatives?

No – only 1 parent or carer should accompany the child to their session. If your child has siblings who you do not have childcare for please discuss this with your physiotherapist before the session.

Should my child come if they are unwell?

Your child should not attend a hydrotherapy session if:

  • They have a skin, eye, respiratory or bladder infection
  • They have a heavy cold with high temperature (if temperature is normal for 24 hours and the child is well enough then they should be able to attend)
  • They have been vomiting or had diarrhoea in the last 48 hours
  • They have COVID

Extra precautions need to be taken if your child has:

  • Fungal infections of feet
  • Pin sites or external fixators
  • Open wounds
  • Stoma sites

If you are not sure, please ask your physiotherapist.

Where is the hydrotherapy pool?

The hydrotherapy pool is based at the Ryegate Children’s Centre which is away from the main hospital site.

Ryegate Children’s Centre
Tapton Crescent Road
S10 5DD

What if my child cannot come to their appointment?

If your child is unable to attend then please contact your physiotherapist directly (if before the day of the session) or the Ryegate Children’s Centre (if on the same day of the session) on 0114 271 7636 or on 0114 271 7622.

Contact us

0114 271 7636


0114 271 7622

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

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S10 2TH

United Kingdom

Switchboard: 0114 271 7000

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