With the long and hot Brisbane summer upon us, hydrotherapy is a great way to cool down and get in some therapy. The Xavier therapy team are big advocates for hydrotherapy and the many benefits it can bring to children with disability.
What is hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy is the use of water and its properties for therapy, rehabilitation, exercise, relaxation and more. It is conducted by an experienced physiotherapist or exercise physiologist in a pool.
Using water as a form of therapy isn’t a new concept. It’s been around since ancient times when its health benefits were first recognised. Today, we use hydrotherapy to help increase quality of life, health and wellbeing and so much more!
We all know that moving our bodies increases fitness however, children with physical disability may have limited movement that inhibits their fitness. Water can help work against the effects of gravity and reduce the amount of effort required to move. This creates an environment where children can move more freely and ultimately increase their fitness.
Hydrotherapy increases the circulation of white blood cells around the body. White blood cells are like little soldiers that fight off nasties. Increasing blood flow helps them to do a better job fighting off bugs, viruses and bacteria
Hydrotherapy is effective for chronic pain as it works in multiple ways to relieve symptoms. The buoyancy of the water helps your child to float which reduces the pressure on joints and can help with any associated pain. Further, the gentle resistance that water provides helps to stabilise their body and allows for increased movement which can reduce stiffness and pain.
Studies have shown that immersing your body in water helps to release endorphins which are our bodies natural stress and anxiety busters. Just like when your child receives a hug from a loved one, this releases endorphins and helps them to feel good.
As the water in a hydrotherapy pool provides resistance to your child’s moving body, they can improve their muscle strength by pushing their arms and legs against the water. Hydrotherapy can also position your child in different ways, making it easier for them to move their body and get strong!
Does my child need to be able to swim to receive hydrotherapy?
No. Hydrotherapy is very different from swimming. You do not need to be able to swim in order to receive hydrotherapy. However, your physiotherapist can incorporate some techniques of learn to swim and pool safety into their sessions.
At what age can my child do hydrotherapy?
There is no minimum age requirement. Your physiotherapist will work with you to ensure that hydro sessions are age and ability appropriate and tailored to your child.
Can I use my child’s NDIS funding for hydrotherapy?
Yes. If hydro will help them to achieve the goals in their NDIS plan.
If you’d like to know more about the suitability of hydrotherapy for your child and availability in your area, call us on 1800 XAVIER or simply fill in the form on our physiotherapy page.