Hydrotherapy is a form of physiotherapy where specific exercises are carried out in a purpose-built pool.

The water in the pool is warm; it's kept just below body temperature.


  • The warm water helps the muscles to relax, which can ease pain and make exercise easier
  • The buoyancy of the water helps to support body weight, which can relieve pressure on joints, reduce pain and increase your movement
  • Exercise against the resistance of the water can improve:
    • Muscle strength
    • Co-ordination
    • Endurance
    • Balance
    • Circulation
    • The reduction of swelling

The pool

You do not need to be able to swim to use our hydrotherapy pool.

It has two levels, with depths of 1m and 1.3m.

Please let the physiotherapist know if you're feeling nervous or anxious about your treatment.

You will be supervised and assisted throughout your hydrotherapy session to suit your own personal needs.

There is a stretcher hoist which can be used to improve access into the pool


Great Western Hospital - Hydrotherapy Pool, Betjeman Centre, Ground Floor (please see  Floor plan).

Side effects

The warmth of the water and exercise may make you feel tired - this is perfectly normal.

After treatment, it is advisable to have a shower; this will remove the chlorine from your skin and help you to cool down before you get dressed.

Please make sure you bring a drink to have following the treatment, and try to rest before going home.

If at any stage you feel faint, dizzy or have chest pain it's important to tell your physiotherapist.

What to expect

You will be assessed by a physiotherapist to ensure that hydrotherapy is an appropriate treatment.

Our Hydrotherapy Team will book one or more sessions of 30 minutes.

These are conducted with both you and your physiotherapist in the pool.

You will complete a variety of exercises which are tailored to suit your needs.

When hydrotherapy is not appropriate

Sessions cannot take place if you have:

  • Any open wound or skin infection
  • Cold, virus, and/or raised temperature
  • Diarrhoea and/or vomiting (you must have been clear of it for 48 hours)
  • Incontinence
  • Angina, cardiac and/or respiratory conditions (this will be discussed and screened further by your referring physiotherapist prior to any treatment)

Session Times 

  • Monday, 9.00am-11.30am
  • Wednesday, 9.00am-11.30am

You will be issued a specific appointment time.


Physiotherapy Reception
Tel: 01793 605093 or 01793 605094

After you are discharged

Our physiotherapists will give you information on attending the Thamesdown Hydrotherapy Pool so that you can continue with your exercises on your own.

Please see the Thamesdown Hydrotherapy Pool website.