Completing exercise in warm water has many benefits for all people, including people with Spinal Cord Injuries and Neurological disorders, such as Stroke and MS.
Specific rehabilitation exercises designed by an Exercise Physiologist can help increase muscular strength as some movements that are performed against the resistance of the water, cannot be achieved or replicated on land.
The water’s buoyancy and anti-gravity effect allows freedom of movement that is ideal for individuals who have restricted mobility due to weakness and paralysis. It provides the client with the ability to float, in combination with warm water increasing blood flow to the muscles, allowing them to relax. Spasticity is a common issue with neurological injuries that can be exacerbated by cold. Hydrotherapy can reduce spasticity, facilitates movement and increases patient comfort.
Core strength and balance are key components of neurological restoration and functional ability. The increased viscosity and buoyancy of the water provides support in both the sitting and standing positions. Moving the water around the client can be utilized to challenge and strengthen core muscles and balance mechanisms. This can allow you to safely train someone in falls prevention; which may be un-safe on land and important for ambulant clients that suffer from MS or a Stroke.