Has your physiotherapist suggested aquatic therapy/hydrotherapy? Have you heard about aquatic therapy/hydrotherapy but are unsure if it is right for your child? Then read on…
What is it?
Aquatic Physiotherapy (previously known as hydrotherapy) is physiotherapy in water. The properties of water are used to aid your child move in such a way as to improve their gross motor skills. The warmth of the water can help reduce spasticity, the buoyancy of the water makes movement and balance easier, the density of the water can be used as resistance to build strength and so on.
Is it swimming lessons?
No. Aquatic Physiotherapy is a range of different exercises in water that will help your child to develop strength, balance, co-ordination, core stability and more. It may involve some activities similar to ones done in swimming lessons but the physiotherapist is not trying to teach your child to swim.
What can I expect?
The physiotherapist will assess your child initially in the clinic and determine whether aquatic therapy is right for your child. If aquatic physiotherapy is suitable, the physiotherapist will work with you to set goals for your child to achieve. The physiotherapist will then plan a program of activities in water that will help your child achieve their goals. These activities often look like games!!
You can expect your aquatic physiotherapy program to be part of a larger therapy program. Aquatic physiotherapy is an adjunct to therapy but is not used in isolation.
You can expect your child to have fun.
Where is hydrotherapy run?
Stepping Forward Therapy Services run Aquatic physiotherapy on alternate Thursday afternoons at two locations: Aquanation in Ringwood and Aqualink in Box Hill.
Who runs the Aquatic Therapy program?
Melanie Gibbs is a fully registered Physiotherapist with extensive experience in aquatic physiotherapy. She has trained with Dr Heather Epps in the UK and has provided Aquatic Therapy to children and teenagers over the past 20 years. Her experience covers working with clients with mild to moderate physical difficulty right through to clients with profound disability. Melanie loves using the water as a medium to provide physiotherapy and finds it to be a very successful medium in which to help clients achieve their goals.
Is my child eligible?
To attend Aquatic Physiotherapy, you will need a certificate from your GP, stating you are fit to attend. Being in the water puts increased pressure on your child’s body systems. It is important to get medical clearance, particularly if your child has any issues with their heart, lungs, blood pressure or kidneys. A land-based assessment by one of our physiotherapists is important in deciding if this program is right for your child.
I still have questions….
If you would like more information please contact the clinic on 9899 4004 or speak to your physiotherapist at your next appointment.