Neurological Conditions treated with Hydrotherapy include: Alzheimer's disease, ALS, brain injury, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injury and stroke.
Water is a completely different environment to do rehabilitation in than land-based therapy. There are two main principles to keep in mind namely : hydrostatic and hydrodynamic principles. When incorporating the hydrostatic principles, factors like buoyancy, density, the metacentric effect and hydrostatic pressure is concidered. All of these can be applied and used advantageously in treatment of the patient suffering from any neurological condition like strokes, traumatic brain injuries and parkinsons. Hydrodynamic principles also play a role and include resistance which is affected by the body shape and speed of movement in water and turbulence. Turbulence can be used to challenge and improve balance and coordination.
Water is a very safe and comforting environment for patients with neurological conditions.
A few benefits of rehabilitation in water include:
Rehabilitation can be done using an active or more passive approach. Passive techniques are often applied with the patient lying on his/her back with buoyancy assistive devices like floatation belts, pool noodles, inflated rings or neck cuffs keeping them afloat which allows the therapist to work comfortably with any part of the body while the patient is completely relaxed. When using more active techniques, the patient’s functional activities and impairments are used to guide the activity level.
Water is a higly adaptable environment. A few ways of adapting treatment to specific needs could include: