Hydrotherapy, which comes from the Greek word meaning ‘healing water’, is the use of water to maintain health and prevent disease. It is used to treat rheumatic conditions, such as arthritis, as well as musculoskeletal disorders and neurological conditions, for example cerebral palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, paralysis and stroke.
Hydrotherapy is particularly useful for the following reasons:
Hydrotherapy exercises can be designed to:
Firstly make sure that your doctor knows that you intend to try hydrotherapy as it should be approached with caution for certain conditions. The temperature of the water can alter blood pressure and it is important to take care when getting out of the pool. It may be wise to limit the length of each session to around 15 minutes if there are concerns regarding blood pressure.
You should also make sure that your hydrotherapy therapist knows that you have Tremor and do make them aware of any problems you may have with breathing or balance.
Exercises should always be supervised by a trained physiotherapist or qualified teacher who will assess your individual abilities and needs. The exercises can take many different forms and your physiotherapist should design a specific programme for you, to maintain and improve your individual physical abilities. A key part of any session will be warming up and cooling down exercises to avoid the risk of any muscular strain.
Many physiotherapists hold classes in the pools attached to the hydrotherapy unit of a hospital or special centre. These pools are usually comfortably heated and have specialised equipment, such as flotation devices, or attachments that help to increase water resistance, such as those that allow for stationary swimming against a gentle jet of water. Classes may also be available in public pools but you will need to check that these suit your needs and abilities
Always make sure that your teacher or physiotherapist knows that you have Tremor. It may be that under close supervision, you can enjoy and benefit from this therapy but it is important to discuss such safety issues with your doctor and therapist.
Your doctor or other healthcare professionals should be able to provide further information.
We would like to acknowledge the use of information taken from the European Parkinson’s Disease Association website http://www.epda.eu.com