The use of water for a medium for rehabilitation, pain management and maintenance of functional ability.
Hydrotherapy can be used via a number of different vehicles: whirlpool/spa and swimming pools and also water treadmill, all of which can assist in aiding function of the animal and pain management. With the understanding of the hydrostatics pressures/buoyancy and the physics of water and movement the physiotherapist or qualified hydrotherapist can use the different pieces of equipment to get the best rehabilitation for the animal. The knowledge of the specific pieces of equipment and conditions/injuries allows the physiotherapist/hydrotherapist to use the most appropriate equipment for the condition of the animal.
Hydrotherapy in conjunction with physiotherapy:
Water therapy has great benefits for the canine from post surgical recovery to neurological rehabilitation. When this is combined with physiotherapy there is a benefit of joint mobilisation and pain relief from the water therapy and hands on manipulations.
Depending on the condition the hydrotherapy can be used in the primary or secondary stages of rehabilitation. The physiotherapist is able to mobilise joints and exercise the animals in the water to make the activity more effective and therefore reduce the pain the animal is in and improve the functional abilities.