Most of us love swimming, or at least being able to relax in a large tub of warm water. For children or adults with cerebral palsy or other conditions affecting their movement, hydrotherapy provides huge relief and improvement in symptoms of painful and tight muscles and joints. For those reliant on wheelchairs or other walking aids, being in the hydrotherapy pool can offer one of the only times when their movement is unrestricted and they can feel a sense of freedom. It is also great exercise, improving circulation and can bring about those “feel good” moments that able-bodied people can get with 20 minutes on the treadmill.
The therapy part is usually a series of exercises and stretches in the water to improve strength and balance, and reduce muscle tightness. Often a trained therapist will provide hands on therapy in the pool, but once family, friends and carers are shown what to do, there is no reason why hydrotherapy cannot be a regular if not daily, part of a brain injured person’s life, increasing their sense of well-being and relieving pain.
We have successfully argued for the benefits of hydrotherapy for many of our clients, and in many cases, have been able to obtain compensation for clients to have their own hydrotherapy pools at home, complete with sensory lights and water jets, and even personalised paintings around the pools – all to make life a little bit more fun.