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Hydrotherapy is common in the treatment of children with neurological and orthopaedic conditions, or following surgery to enhance function and improve quality of life.

Paediatric conditions that may benefit from hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy can be beneficial in a number of paediatric conditions (conditions which affect children), including:

Hydrotherapy session with close supervision from specialist physiotherapistAbove: Hydrotherapy session with close supervision from specialist physiotherapist

Aims of hydrotherapy for children

Hydrotherapy for children seeks to achieve similar aims to that of a land-based programme. It will be used in combination with a land-based programme to ensure carry-over of functional skills. Typical aims of a paediatric hydrotherapy programme include:
  • Promotion of normal development
  • Working towards physical milestones
  • Decrease pain
  • Normalise tone
  • Increase strength
  • Increase function
  • Provide relaxation if appropriate
  • Mobilise stiff joints
  • Increase ability to weight-bear

Your physiotherapy sessions will take place in specialised hydrotherapy pools Above: Your physiotherapy sessions will take place in specialised hydrotherapy pools

Advantages of hydrotherapy for children

Hydrotherapy is a preferred method of treatment for children for the following reasons:
  • Children find being in the water more fun than normal land-based rehabilitation
  • Children enjoy exercising within the pool and so are willing to do more, this means increased compliance with exercises
  • Buoyancy effect and warm temperature allows exercises to be carried out with less pain

What hydrotherapy may involve

Hydrotherapy for children is aimed to be a fun experience that enables children to move in way they can only experience in a hydrotherapy pool. Small floating objects such as small ducks and boats may be used within sessions to catch the attention of the child and encourage reach and grasp. Larger flotation devices may also be used to provide support for the child.

In younger children natural anxiety can be overcome through creating an environment in which mother/child contact is paramount. In older children, should anxiety of water become apparent, our physiotherapists will use techniques to allow them to see water is not scary or a threat. Parents will be encouraged to get involved, and engage with their child through use of specific positions and handling. Our physiotherapists will work alongside, providing full explanation particularly in respect to:
  • Why particular exercises are chosen, this will include reasons such as how activities work to enhance functional response
  • Why particular holds are used and encouraged
  • Why certain actions are encouraged in relation to development
Fun games and tasks allow practice of core skills (such as head control), and development of movement patterns (such as reaching or walking). Our physiotherapists will provide a supportive environment, in which demonstration will allow the child to observe and imitate actions to stimulate development. Encouragement, praise, and reinforcement will allow progression to occur, and music may be used to provide cues to encourage participation further.

Hydrotherapy session with close supervision from specialist physiotherapistAbove: Hydrotherapy session with close supervision from specialist physiotherapist

Why is able to develop a personalised programme in which both parent and child are addressed equally. Our physiotherapists recognise how important it is to allow parents to play their part, get involved, and develop their own knowledge of the child’s requirements and abilities.

Other reasons to choose include:
  • No waiting lists,
  • Flexible appointment times including evenings and weekends
  • Team of physiotherapists experienced in working with children of varying ages, who present with a variety of conditions.
  • We are registered with all major insurance companies
  • Integrated approach allows the skills learnt to be transferred and applied to land-based situations
Our physiotherapists will engage with both parent and child in making the programme enjoyable, as well as rewarding in terms of improvements in functional movement.

If you would like more information about hydrotherapy for children or would like to make an appointment then please call now on 0330 088 7800. You can also book online!

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