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What does hydrotherapy treatment involve?

All treatment is prescribed and guided by an experienced physiotherapist, who is in the water with you.  Much of the treatment is exercise based, but we also perform some hands-on techniques as appropriate.  An example would be to assist with mobilising a stiff joint while it is warmed up and feeling less painful  than it might at home.

Do I need a referral?

Physiotherapists are primary contact practitioners, so anyone can see us without a referral.  Exceptions are those with complex or unstable medical conditions, or post-operatively, where we may request clearance from your doctor before undertaking hydrotherapy.  If a third party is paying for your sessions (eg WorkCare, DVA) we will usually need a referral letter from your GP or specialist.

Is hydrotherapy performed one on one or in a group?

Purpose built hydrotherapy pools are prohibitively expensive to hire for one on one treatments, and the types of conditions we treat don't tend to require that level of supervision. 

The first time you attend you will be assessed by one of our physios in a room adjacent to the pool.  This will take 15-30 minutes, directly followed by a short session in the water (30-40 minutes).   Although there is a group of patients in the pool at any one time, our two physios in the water move around helping everyone individually, with each patient performing exercises specific to their own problems.  The exact number of patients being treated concurrently will vary somewhat based on their needs.

How long is a session?

Each hydrotherapy session is up to one hour long, depending on what you can cope with.  You might need to start with a shorter duration and build up as your condition improves.

For the first session, which includes initial assessment, allow just over one hour.

Do I have to book in for a set number of sessions?

No.  We are continually reassessing and guiding you to determine whether hydrotherapy treatment is right for you and is reaping the desired benefits.  You may want to attend for a period  of time to get over an injury, more longer term to maintain a chronic condition, or just attend a couple of times to have a program prescribed for you to complete at a local pool.

How often should I attend?

At your first session your physio will guide you as to how often you should attend to gain optimal results.  This will depend on such things as your condition, what else you are doing in the way of exercise, and what your availability is.  Most people attend once or twice per week.  As the treatment is largely exercise based, you can compare it in some ways to attending the gym - attending more often will allow you to see results more quickly. 

I can’t swim, can I still participate in Hydrotherapy?

Yes!  Our pools have a shallow end, and rails around the edge of the pool to hang on to.  Many of the exercises are performed in a standing position, and we are particularly attentive to our patients who are nervous in water.  Swimming is rarely part of the program, mainly due to the warm temperature of the water.  We have had many non-swimmers who end up loving hydrotherapy and gaining much confidence.

What temperature is the water?

The pools we use are heated to a comfortable 34 degrees Celsius year round.  While this may sound hot, it is actually termed “thermo-neutral” temperature, which means most people keep the same core temperature and don’t tend to get hot or cold when immersed in water of 34 degrees.  This is perfect for low intensity exercise or short periods of higher intensity exercise.

I react badly to chlorine, is your pool going to affect me?

We can’t say for sure, but there is a good chance that you will fare better than in a public pool.  Our pool in Heidelberg uses little chlorine as its disinfection process is based on ozone.  Both pools are kept strictly within the optimal chemical range, with testing occurring several times per day.  You will notice little if any chlorine smell in the the air - chloramine is the gas released when chlorine in the water combines with pollutants, so the more smell, the dirtier a pool is.  If your skin is sensitive, it is a good idea to rinse off straight after being in the pool, and only use a soap-free wash.

I am under WorkCare / TAC / DVA / ADF - is there a gap payment?

No.  If you have an active claim covering medical expenses, we charge no out-of-pocket fees and accounts are sent directly to your insurer.

Can I get anything back from my Private Health Insurance?

If you have ancillaries (extras) cover, you will get a rebate for hydrotherapy as it is a form of physiotherapy.  Rebates vary between health funds and depending on your level of cover.

Does Medicare cover any of the cost of Hydrotherapy?

If you have a chronic complaint, you can discuss with your doctor about being managed on a Chronic Disease Management Plan.  At least three health professionals need to be involved in your care (eg GP, Specialist and Physiotherapist), and you can then be referred for a maximum of 5 allied health treatments every calendar year.  If you ask your doctor to add us to your plan and refer you to us, we can bulk-bill up to 5 hydrotherapy sessions, with no gap payment to you.

Do you treat children?

Unfortunately, current rules at the venues we operate out of prevent us from treating children. 

How do I pay for my treatment?

We will email or post you a bill at the end of every calendar month, which can be paid via bank deposit, internet banking or cheque.  You can also bring payment (correct amount only) to the pool in a named envelope.  We will send you a receipt that can be used to claim on your private health insurance.

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