Skip to content
Home » Blog » What is the Difference Between a Normal Pool and a Hydrotherapy Pool?

What is the Difference Between a Normal Pool and a Hydrotherapy Pool?

Hydrotherapy pools are specialized pools designed specifically for aquatic therapy and rehabilitation. Also called therapy pools, they differ in several key ways from regular swimming pools intended for recreation. From the temperature and depth to special safety and accessibility features, hydrotherapy pools cater to therapeutic programs for people or animals recovering from injury or managing painful health conditions. Understanding the unique characteristics and design of hydrotherapy pools helps clarify their purpose and value in physical therapy treatments.

Water Temperature

The most apparent distinction is water temperature. Typical residential pools maintain temperatures between 70–80°F for refreshing summertime dips. Hydrotherapy pools keep water heated to warmer 90–100°F temperatures comfortable for therapeutic exercisers. Warmer water helps relax muscles, increase blood flow, and offer soothing relief to manage chronic pain — easing mobility to make movement easier during conditioning routines. Small size and good heating systems allow warmer set points too expensive to perpetually maintain in larger pools. Programming adjustable temperatures to meet specific therapy goals is also easier in hydrotherapy pool systems.

Depth and Floor Shape

Recreational pools feature deep ends for diving — sometimes descending over 5 feet deep. Hydrotherapy pools maintain more consistent shallow depths, usually from 3.5–5 feet at most. Gradually sloped floors allow easy access and ensure users can firmly plant their feet while exercising upright. Ramped entry angles or zero-depth beach entries also assist accessibility for those with limited mobility. Non-slip tile floors prevent falls, with options like treads or bars for additional traction during therapeutic programs.

Size and Shape

Backyard pools range widely in size and shape for aesthetics and fun. Hydrotherapy pools run smaller, given specialized heating and filtration burdens. Rectangular and L-shaped designs allow therapists to observe patients exercising against adjoining view walls while leaving room for assistive devices or shared activity. Some facilities have separate larger warm water pools for group classes or family therapy programs. Custom built therapy pools can fine tune sizes and layouts to individual rehabilitative needs.

Specialized Fixtures and Equipment

Hydrotherapy pools contain built-in features facilitating therapy practices. Handrails, underwater treadmills, adjustable floor lifts, resistance jets, and accessible steps/ramps secure safe circulation and easier movement for therapeutic exercisers. Digital displays with timers or settings controls integrate with therapy equipment. Unlike decorative rock features or slides in standard pools, every fixture serves specialized rehab-oriented functions. Portable elements like weights, noodles, or underwater cameras also assist customized programming.

Advanced Filtration and Hygiene Standards

All pool types must meet safety hygiene levels. But hydrotherapy pools need robust disinfecting systems to prevent spread of bacteria or infections, especially amongst immunocompromised patients. Hospital grade water management with chemical testing several times daily, supplementary UV exposure, and high-rate turnover filtration maintains sterile conditions despite higher bather loads.sticking to healthcare cleanliness codes also helps facilities qualify for insurance reimbursements as clinical environments.

Specialized Construction and Materials

Hydrotherapy pool shells often utilize stainless steel or non-porous fiberglass materials less likely to absorb chemical residues from extensive sanitation processes. Packaged modular hydrotherapy pool units simplify installation with utilities plug-and-play connections. Compared to concrete in-ground structures, specialty therapeutic pools allow flexible siting and relocation as rehab program settings change. Non-slip deck flooring, anti-fog heating, humidity control, and durable watertight construction hold up against intense daily healthcare use.

Designated Therapy Space Over Multi-Use

Standard pools host rowdy swim teams or neighborhood get-togethers between peaceful morning laps. Hydrotherapy pools operate as dedicated healing spaces – not communal party venues. All design elements focus expressly on physical therapy outcomes with limited access and structured sessions. Around the pool, private changing rooms, storage for assistive rehabilitation gear, therapist office space, and nearby gym zones exclusively support therapeutic programming absent from typical recreation areas.

Specialized Personnel and Protocol

Certified aquatic therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, or rehabilitation technicians directly oversee hydrotherapy pool sessions – not casual lifeguards. Patients get customized treatment plans with progress benchmarks. Trained staff monitor heart rates, facilitate prescribed movements, assist mobility challenges, and ensure productive therapeutic outcomes rather than just safety alone. Strict health precautions also minimize contamination risks for patients amid infection vulnerabilities.

In summary, while standard pools provide open refreshment and fun, hydrotherapy pool environs specifically enable physical rehabilitation and healing. Temperature, depth, equipment, construction – every element tailors towards restoring strength, function and quality of life. The hospitality design nurtures progress unachievable through normal swimming alone. Precision rehab-centered specifications clearly differentiate therapeutic hydro pools from average backyard leisure. Consult your health provider to see if aquatic therapy options might benefit your condition or injury recovery.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *