Hydrotherapy (previously called hydropathy), is a natural therapeutic treatment that includes moving and exercising in a heated pool.
‘Water is the lifeblood of our bodies and our wellbeing’
What is Hydrotherapy?
- Hydrotherapy is a treatment for pain, injury, or disability.
- The water is a lot warmer than a swimming pool as is the surrounding temperature. The water temperature is usually around 33.5c. This allows your muscles to relax and eases pain in the joints.
- The methods of exercise used are usually guided by a trained person from a hospital physiotherapist department. The focus of the exercise can be adjusted depending on your symptoms.
- If you are nervous in water it is worth trying as most people find it soothing and pleasant. You do not need to be able to swim as your feet can remain firmly on the bottom of the pool at all times. There will always be a member of staff in the small pool to assist.
- The pool depth usually quite shallow (approximately chest height) with a depth of about 1.0 metre and a gentle slope at 1.4 metres being the deepest.
- There will be a few steps down into the pool; however, if you have trouble with steps there will be mechanical hoist to assist in entering the water.
What is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?
MS is an autoimmune condition which can affect the brain and or spinal cord. The condition can cause varying problems with movement, balance and vision. Once diagnosed the MS stays for life, however, treatments and specialists help to manage the condition and its symptoms.
Symptoms vary in each individual and can comprise of the following.
- Muscle stiffness and spasms.
- Balance and bladder problems.
- Difficulty walking.
- MS can affect memory and concentration.
- More than 50 per cent of people with MS will experience periods od depression.
- Bladder problems.
Did You Know?
- An estimated 2,500,000 people in the world have MS with an estimate of 100,000 people diagnosed in the UK.
- Research indicates that women are more likely to be effected.
- The further north or south from the equator you live the prevalence increases.
- Low levels of MS are found in parts of Asia, Africa and America.
- Apparently Canada and Scotland have the higher rates of the disease.
Benefits Of Hydrotherapy for people with MS
- Because exercise and physical activity become challenging for some sufferers the water is a way of remaining active with less weight on the joints.
- For many people who live with daily pain hydrotherapy can deliver pain free movement.
- The water provides resistance which can help in building muscle strength.
- Exercise in water may also help to improve fatigue and depression with a sense of wellbeing.
- The water can provide improvement of balance, co-ordination and posture.
- More fluidity and control over movement of joints.
- Better mobility may be achieved.
- Temporary pain relief
Hydrotherapy can also be used to assist in the treatment of a number of ailments in addition to Multiple Sclerosis, including:
- Immobility (following fracture healing)
● Spinal Conditions.
● Arthritic Conditions.
Another Type of Aquatic Therapy
Ai Chi is a type of water exercise which aims to relax and strengthen the body. It combines breathing techniques with progressive resistance training. A study involving people with MS showed reductions in pain and or spasms.
Access to Hydrothrapy
Sessions are available on the NHS, and most hospitals have hydrotherapy pools. Check with your GP to see if this service will be beneficial. If so, you will be referred to a physiotherapist for further discussion.
Hydrotherapy at Home
For hydrotherapy at home you can ease your symptoms by having a hydrotherapy walk in bath.
Our full length Mayfair walk in bathtub has fully adjustable freestanding Stainless steel frame & legs. The heavy duty reinforced door can be placed either side. With fast flow taps and the lowest entry step on the market.