Aquatic Physio Exercise Australia

Aquatic Physiotherapy (or Hydrotherapy) programs are based on clinical research that has proven to give the best results and is individualised for each participant.  Aquatic Physiotherapy is used to improve joint pain, flexibility, walking, strengthening, posture, fitness and balance in many conditions including arthritis, back pain, joint sprains, shoulder injury and rehabilitation following surgery.

Aquatic Physio Exercise Australia provides:

  • Aquatic physiotherapy sessions for all conditions in small groups
  • Individual one on one aquatic physiotherapy to set up and monitor programs for people wanting to carry out some aquatic exercise independently
  • A visit to the pool in your building to check it out and give you advice about the best way to use it to get stronger and fitter
  • Consulting, needs assessment and management for Hydrotherapy Pools and aquatic services

Sophie Heywood


Sophie Heywood
Clinical Manager – Aquatic Physio Exercise Australia

B Physio (Hons)             Masters (Sports Physiotherapy)          Cert (Hydro)

Member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association

Member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association


Sophie is a physiotherapist and graduated from the University of Melbourne. She has studied at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases in Bath in the UK and completed a Certificate in Hydrotherapy in 1999. She has a Masters in Sports Physiotherapy and was awarded the Sports Physiotherapy Australia prize. Sophie has extensive experience in aquatic physiotherapy including teaching undergraduate students in universities and post-graduate programs in Australia and also overseas. She has worked extensively in aquatic physiotherapy with people with hip and knee osteoarthritis or joint replacement including 10 years managing the inpatient and outpatient aquatic physiotherapy services in large Melbourne metropolitan public hospitals. She also works at the Melbourne Sports Medicine Centre and is currently a PhD student.

Teaching at the University of Leuven in Belgium


Sophie was awarded a National Musculoskeletal Conditions Improvement grant in 2003 and led a hip and knee aquatic physiotherapy and education research project in osteoarthritis. This randomised clinical study was published in 2007 in an international physiotherapy journal.

In 2008 Sophie was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to travel overseas to Europe and the US to study aquatic physiotherapy and chronic disease management. She was the chair of the Australian Physiotherapy Association Aquatic Group 2007-2009 leading projects in aquatic physiotherapy education and professional development. Sophie has also contributed to a systematic review comparing water and land based exercise in hip and knee arthritis that was published in 2011. She has worked in aquatic physiotherapy and aquatic recovery at the Carlton Football Club 2009- 2012. A pilot trial in football and hydrotherapy was published in 2013. She is still active in the Australian Physiotherapy Association Aquatic Group as a member of the committee reviewing risk management, screening and guidelines for aquatic physiotherapists and convening and teaching in the Australian Physiotherapy Association advanced Level 3 aquatic physiotherapy course. Sophie is the Australian representative to Aquatic Physical Therapy International.

Sophie has started, reviewed and managed a number of aquatic physiotherapy services in the past 15 years and has extensive experience in evidence based outcome focused practice, teaching and supervision of staff, planning, risk management and quality projects in aquatic physiotherapy.

Aquatic Physio Exercise Australia


To improve quality of life, walking, flexibility, fitness, strength and pain using aquatic physiotherapy

  • To provide a challenging, comfortable and effective evidence based aquatic physiotherapy exercise intervention for people with all conditions
  • To promote self management with ongoing aquatic exercise
  • To be a leader in the uptake and inclusion of new clinical research into aquatic physiotherapy programs
  • To provide specialised extended programs for people with hip or knee arthritis or joint replacement

Hip and Knee Aquatic Physiotherapy