Suffering a stroke can be very debilitating. Some people have a quick and almost full recovery whereas other people need a lot of rehabilitation. The pool is an ideal environment in which to rehabilitate for many reasons as outlined below. In particular because it builds confidence and has huge psychological benefits when you are able to perform movements and tasks in water without the fear of falling and by developing that sense of achievement the first time you succeed in, for example, taking a step, or moving a limb.
- The pool provides a safe environment to relearn skills. The waters viscocity slows movement allowing increased focus on balance and coordination, providing a greater time to repond and react to different positions, reducing the risk of falls.
- Using modified PNF and properties of the water to reduce strain through vulnerable joints and soft tissues. Water viscocity makes it possible to gain more strength in less time. Aquatic equipment such as aquatic dumbbells and hand paddles can increase resistance and therefore increase strength.
- The warmth of the hydrotherapy pool relaxes muscles and with the guidance of the therapist can work towards lengthening and stretching muscles.
- Water pressure massages the muscles, reducing pain during and after sessions. The warmth of the water helps to reduce tension in the body whilst stimulating the release of endorphins, the bodys natural painkiller.
- The effects of heated immersion, gentle tractioning of joints and buoyancy can increase flexibility and range of movement of joints.
- Cardiovascular benefits are created from an initial lower working capacity and effort required to exercise in water and the positive physiological effects on the heart and lungs when immersed upright in the heated water. Increased resistance in the water forces the body to work harder to pump blood around the body, increasing the hearts fitness overtime, increasing endurance and reducing the risk of experiencing another stroke.