The importance of hydrotherapy

What is hydrotherapy and why is it so important for children with life limiting and life threatening conditions and their families?

Hydrotherapy is one of the many specialist care services we provide at Acorns Children’s Hospice. In this blog, learn more about why it’s such an important service.

At Acorns we know how important hydrotherapy is for the children and young people who visit our hospices. Hydrotherapy is one of many therapies provided as part our specialist palliative care services, with over 330 sessions run all across all three of our hospices in the past year.

Hydrotherapy is a relaxing and therapeutic experience for a child. The warm water helps ease stiff muscles and joints, actively reduces pain and offers a sometimes otherwise impossible sense of freedom and movement. Hydrotherapy not only helps with symptom management but can also help a child to develop their play and communication skills.

Julie Queenborough is a physiotherapist at Acorns in Birmingham. Our physiotherapists support children to be as active as possible, both physically and emotionally. The hydrotherapy pool, she says, allows us to do that.

She explains: “Many children and young people who use wheelchairs are in their chairs for most of their waking hours. Hydrotherapy provides them the opportunity to get out of their wheelchair and enjoy the freedom, movement and play water allows. To be able to get into the pool where they can be independent enough to mobilise their arms and legs, is hugely empowering.”

Shabana is Haniya’s mum. Haniya attends Acorns in Birmingham for Stay and Play and hydrotherapy. Haniya has Leigh Syndrome, a rare neurometabolic disorder that affects the central nervous system.

Shabana says hydrotherapy significantly helps Haniya’s mobility.  

She explains: “Haniya enjoying hydrotherapy is lovely. She is so much more lively in the water as she can move her body. Normally, she isn’t able to move very much but she can push herself against the water. You can see the change immediately, which is why we try to bring her as much as possible.”

Creating magical moments for families in the water

Our dedicated teams at Acorns are passionate about creating magical moments and happy memories for families. This includes experiences families wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to enjoy – including fun family splashes.

Catherine is Jack’s mum. Jack has Hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy and cerebral palsy and visits Acorns for the Three Counties with his family for day care.

He and his siblings, Maisy and Oliver, love family splashes at Acorns. While Maisy, Oliver and mum have fund together in the pool, Jack is able to benefit from hydrotherapy provided by an Acorns physiotherapist.

Mum Catherine says: “We don’t know what we’d do without this facility. It’s beneficial for the whole family, not just Jack. Jack has two younger siblings who are just starting to learn to swim, and the hydro pool has really helped bring them on.

“As a mum of three children, Jack’s condition means I am unable to take all of my children swimming at the same time. But we can with the hydrotherapy pool and the help of staff at Acorns. This is valuable family time and a great activity which all three children love.”

Did you know?

£120 will pay for a child and their family to have a hydrotherapy session with an Acorns Physiotherapist