Aquatic therapy is also known as Hydrotherapy, and is a water-based treatment of therapeutic exercises, in particular for relaxation, fitness, and physical rehabilitation. Treatments and exercises are performed while floating, partially submerged, or fully submerged in water.
Many aquatic therapy procedures require constant attendance by a trained therapist and are performed in a specialised temperature-controlled pool. Rehabilitation commonly focuses on improving the physical function associated with illness, injury, or disability.
Various properties of water contribute to therapeutic effects, including:
- the ability to use water for resistance in place of gravity or weights
- thermal stability that permits the maintenance of near-constant temperature
- hydrostatic pressure that supports and stabilises, and influences the heart and lung function
- buoyancy that permits flotation and reduces the effects of gravity
- turbulence and wave propagation that allows gentle manipulation and movement.
What are the benefits of Aquatic Therapy?
Water provides resistance or assistance in all planes and directions, encouraging a wider range of movement and opposition in the body. It improves cardiovascular conditioning since the heart pumps more blood per beat when the body is submerged in water. Aquatic Therapy can:
- Improve muscle tone
- Increase core strength
- Reduce muscle spasticity
- Reduce muscle and joint stress or pain
- Alleviate stress and tension
- Decrease post-exercise discomfort
- Enhance circulation
- Improve flexibility
- Increase endurance
- Improve or maintain range of motion
- Reduce sleep disturbances
- Increase stability
- Protect the body against injury.
Who is Aquatic Therapy suitable for?
For children of all ages and with various diagnoses, however, here are some conditions that may benefit from Aquatic Therapy:
Cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders
- Genetic Disorders such as Down Syndrome
- Brachial plexus injuries
- Post-operative conditions
- Developmental delay
- Generalised muscle weakness or neuromuscular diseases.
A child may participate in aquatic therapy treatment just as they would any other therapy treatment, and the frequency, intensity, and duration are individually based on the goals of the family and child. It can be used as a supplement to additional therapies, prior to or in transition to land-based therapy that is fully weight-bearing or solely as its own intervention. A therapist may also instruct the child and family in activities that can be completed in a pool outside of therapy in a fun and interactive way!
NB: There are certain precautions when completing Aquatic Therapy, so talk to your child’s physical or occupational therapist about its risks and benefits.
What happens in an Aquatic Therapy session?
- During the session, you or your child will be accompanied by an experienced Aquatic Physiotherapist. They will guide you through a series of movements and exercises, either working with the water or against the water to help improve your mobility and strength
- The sessions usually last for 30 to 45 minutes depending on the individual’s needs and the therapist’s recommendation. This helps to maximise the effects of treatment while minimising the risks of dehydration.
Do I need to be able to swim for Aquatic Therapy?
No, you or your child do not need to be able to swim or get your head wet to participate in an Aquatic Therapy session. Your physiotherapist can adapt treatment to suit your needs, and if you’re not confident in the water. Access to the pool is by a ladder with handrails.
Where does Aquatic Therapy take place?
Aquatic Therapy currently takes place off-site at Poolside Manor, Lyndhurst Gardens, London N3 1TD
How much is Aquatic Therapy?
There is a fee of £45 for an initial assessment to access all CPotential services.
How do I book Aquatic Therapy?
Please complete our form below and we’ll be in touch soon to arrange an initial assessment.