What is Hydrotherapy (water therapy)?

Category: Physical Therapy

Most popular types: Warm water therapy Pool therapy Therapeutic Spa Show all


See also: Aquatic Therapy Exercises Balneotherapy Hot Pool Exercises

Hydrotherapy, formerly called hydropathy involves the use of water for soothing pains and treating diseases. Hydrotherapy is used to treat musculoskeletal disorders such as arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, or spinal cord injuries and in patients suffering burns, spasticity, stroke or paralysis.

Reported purpose & perceived effectiveness
Purpose Patients Evaluations Perceived Effectiveness
Fibromyalgia 60 26
Pain 41 18
Muscle pain 26 13
Improve flexibility/strength 9 9
General health 6 1
Improve mobility 6 4

Show all 57 reasons taken

  • Major
  • Moderate
  • Slight
  • None
  • Can't tell

Side effects

Side effects as an overall problem

Side effects as an overall problem
Severity Evaluations
Severe 5
Moderate 6
Mild 14
None 34

Commonly reported side effects and conditions associated with Hydrotherapy (water therapy)

Side effect Patients
Pain 3
Fatigue 2
Neck pain 2
Soreness 2
Bursitis in hips 1
Cramps in calf muscles 1

Show all 22 reported side effects


Based on patients currently going to Hydrotherapy (water therapy)

Dosage Patients
30 min weekly 3
180 min weekly 2
weekly 1
90 min weekly 1
120 min weekly 1
135 min weekly 1
daily 1
120 min daily 1

Why patients stopped taking Hydrotherapy (water therapy)

Multiple reasons could be selected

Reason Patients
Course of treatment ended 22
Other 21
Did not seem to work 14
Expense 10
Side effects too severe 6
Change in health plan coverage 3
Doctor's advice 2
See all 61 patients who’ve stopped going to Hydrotherapy (water therapy)


Currently going to Hydrotherapy (water therapy)

Duration Patients
6 months - 1 year 2
1 - 2 years 1
2 - 5 years 2
5 - 10 years 4
10 years or more 2

Stopped going to Hydrotherapy (water therapy)

Duration Patients
Less than 1 month 8
1 - 6 months 33
6 months - 1 year 10
1 - 2 years 5
2 - 5 years 5
5 - 10 years 2
Adherence Evaluations
Always 33
Usually 19
Sometimes 5
Never taken as prescribed 2
Burden Evaluations
Very hard to take 8
Somewhat hard to take 25
A little hard to take 18
Not at all hard to take 8
Cost per month
Cost per month Evaluations
$200+ 1
$100-199 11
$50-99 10
$25-49 2
< $25 7
Not specified 28
Last updated:

7 patient evaluations for Hydrotherapy (water therapy)

52 members have decided to share their profiles only with other members of PatientsLikeMe.

Echo Mountain
21100 thumb
Echo Mountain
Gender: M
Data Quality: 2 stars
Pain: All
Fatigue: All
Sleep: All
Stiffness: All
function: None
external_stress: Some
Stickman: all
CFS:10y Dx
FM:10y Dx
I am: b
I have:

See Echo Mountain's full Hydrotherapy (water therapy) history

Aug 19, 2011 (Started Dec 01, 2010)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for Fibromyalgia)
  • Side effects
  • Adherence
  • Burden
    A little hard to take
Dosage: 180 min Weekly
Advice & Tips: The biggest burden would be time consumed. For it to be effective it takes about 2-3 hours in there. Sometimes that's a lot of time, even for me. Still, the benefits are so striking, I can't help but use it every day or every other day.

  • 0 helpful marks
Portrait default thumb
Sex: F
Data Quality: 1 star
Sensation: Moderate
Overall: Mild
Cognition: moderate
Vision: moderate
Speech: mild
Swallowing: mild
Upper limb: moderate
Walking: moderate
I am: n
I have:

See amackccc's full Hydrotherapy (water therapy) history

Jan 26, 2011 (Started May 10, 2002)

  • Effectiveness
    Slight (for Mobility decreased)
  • Side effects
  • Adherence
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: 30 min Every Other Week

  • 0 helpful marks
14403 thumb
Data Quality: 1 star
  • Gender: F
  • Age: 53
Condition: Degenerative Disc Disease 11 additional condition(s)
Quality of life:
  • Mental: Moderate
  • Physical: Moderate
I am: b
I have:
Degenerative Disc Disease

See jokeyjodi1963's full Hydrotherapy (water therapy) history

Apr 20, 2010 (Started Feb 15, 2010)

  • Effectiveness
    Slight (for Degenerative Disc Disease)
  • Side effects
  • Adherence
  • Burden
    Somewhat hard to take
Dosage: 180 min Weekly
Advice & Tips: The hydrotherapy was primarily ordered for post fusion surgery but the warmth of the water and the way it made movements less pronounced, I was able to move more freely. It did help the fibro for a short amount of time. Anyone with fibro knows that any relief, even for just a short time, is worth doing! Unfortunately the DDD continues as does the fibro and things just keep getting progressively worse. The lower back improved but now the mid back is horrific!!!!

  • 0 helpful marks
Last updated:
Showing 3 of 7 patient evaluations for Hydrotherapy (water therapy)