Topic outline

  • Hydrotherapy

    • The term Hydrotherapy ('hydro' meaning water) refers to a process which uses water at any temperature or form to relieve pain and treat illness, and is a practice which has been in use since the 5th century B.C.
      It was Greek physician Hippocrates who first cited the use of water for therapeutic purposes, but its medicinal merits did not go unnoticed by ancient Egyptian or Roman civilisations either. Egyptians were said to have bathed in flower essences and aromatic oils and historical evidence proves that public baths were a central feature of Roman colonies.
      Post Roman Empire public baths fell out of fashion as a result of Christian culture frowning upon public nudity. However the Middle Ages brought about a revival as physicians began using sulphur rich springs for the treatment of skin complaints and other ailments. Come the 18th century hydrotherapy was recognised as a scientific method and physicians were commonly utilising the healing properties of water for the treatments of illness.

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      Pupils using the hydrotherapy pool have continual assessments. These show some tremendous improvements which have benefited all who take part. Here are some pictures of pupils enjoying their time in the pool.

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      The Benefits of Hydrotherapy

      Mobility can be improved with hydrotherapy because people are able to perform activities in the pool that they are unable to perform on dry land. With the appropriate progression of exercises some of these activities, such as walking or running, will be able to be performed outside the pool. The support of the water and the reduced fear of falling can aid mobility practice. Exercises against the resistance of water and dynamic exercises within the water can also improve muscle strength, balance and co-ordination. 
      Hydrotherapy can be used to speed up the recovery of patients that are unable to weight-bear or can only partially weight-bear following surgery or injury, by increasing range of movement and maintaining muscle strength.

      In addition to the above, hydrotherapy can:

      increase mobility
      reduce pain and muscle spasm
      improve and maintain joint range of movement
      strengthen weak muscle groups
      increase physical fitness and functional tolerances
      re-educate normal movement patterns
      improve balance
      improve co-ordination
      improve posture
      improve self confidence
      stimulate circulation

      Hydrotherapy is an effective way to treat children with neurological and orthopaedic conditions. It is enjoyed by children with physical difficulties because it is fun and gives them a freedom of movement only experienced in a hydrotherapy pool.
      Programmes are devised by physiotherapists and followed by our hydrotherapy assistants and support assistants.

      Often we think of stress as something which effects us only in a mental capacity but in addition to these psychological problems it can also cause a multitude of physical issues. We already known that stress related illnesses can cause high blood pressure, headaches, insomnia, depression etc which all have a knock on effect on the immune system.
      Most forms of hydrotherapy are found to be relaxing, in particular the jets of water in hydro baths are said to cause a level of relaxation similar to that of massage, releasing endorphins and contributing to overall well being.
      Please note, whilst many individuals have found hydrotherapy to be effective in treating the above, there is currently no scientific evidence to prove the efficacy of the treatment in those particular areas.