NEUROLOGICAL/STROKE Studies

Stroke - Robert

Objective

Rehabilitation after a stroke.

Background

Robert was left unable to walk with a weakened left side due to a stroke he suffered. After some specialist neuro physiotherapy he was able to walk for approximately 3 minutes with the use of a stick.

Programme

  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Water Temperature: 32˚C
  • Speed: 1.5 to 2.8kph as sessions developed
  • Depth: 1120mm
  • Resistance Jets: For calf massage at the end of the session
  • Direction: Forward and reverse
  • Number of Sessions: 20

Outcomes

The goal of stroke rehabilitation is to help relearn skills, such as mobility, which are lost when the stroke affects part of the brain. Many stroke patients have problems with co-ordination and balance so training in the underwater treadmill is ideal.

Robert completed 20 sessions of aquatic therapy as he looked to achieve his objective. Many stroke patients have problems with co‑ordination and balance meaning it can be difficult to rehabilitate through land-based exercise. This is why aquatic therapy is ideal for this purpose.

Water has a cushioning effect, supporting weak limbs and helping the patient feel more confident. This results in a more effective workout that in turn contributes to a quicker recovery. Robert's programme included sessions in the Wellness pool where he was able to complete a range of exercises such as sit to stand, which helped his strength.

Robert's programme includes sessions in the Wellness pool where he performs a range of exercises such as sit to stand, to help build his strength.

Peripheral Myelitis - Evan

Objective

Rehabilitation for peripheral myelitis.

Background

Peripheral myelitis is the degeneration of the peripheral nerves that mainly supply the upper and lower limb muscles. In Evan's case, the condition has severely affected his walking and the use of his left arm.

Programme

  • Duration: 30 minutes per session
  • Water Temperature: 31˚C
  • Speed: 2.0 to 4.0kph as sessions developed
  • Depth: 1200mm
  • Resistance Jets: Not activated
  • Direction: Forwards and backwards
  • Number of Sessions: 12

Outcomes

Starting off in the HYDRO PHYSIO treadmill, the water level was high to give Evan support for his weak muscles. The water's surface tension helped him retain his balance while he exercised. Maintaining as much muscle strength as possible and also reducing his cramping and spasms.

Sessions in the Wellbeing Pool featured specific exercises to work on his core stability and build strength in his limbs, while the warm water helped reduce his pain.

Previously, Evan would walk round the park to keep mobile and sustain his fitness. It would take him about 1½ hours as he was forced to stop every ten minutes. Now, the circuit takes him less than an hour and he has also re-educated his gait to achieve a more normal walking motion.

Multiple Sclerosis - Beryl

Objective

Improvement in the symptoms of MS and arthritis.

Background

Beryl suffers from MS and together with arthritis in her right ankle, she experiences back pain, poor balance and her posture is stooped. She needs a stick plus some assistance to get around.

Programme

  • Duration: 30 minutes per session
  • Water Temperature: 31˚C
  • Speed: 2.0 to 2.5kph as sessions developed
  • Depth: 900mm
  • Resistance Jets: Not activated
  • Direction: Forward
  • Number of Sessions: 3

Outcomes

Exercising with MS is a helpful way to stay as healthy and fit as possible and to improve some of the symptoms and their effects.

The underwater treadmill is the ideal environment for Beryl to train as the water supported her weak muscles and limbs, which cushioned her movements and relieved any pain she was experiencing.

Beryl’s muscle strength and fitness further improved and therefore helped with her mobility problems. Her range of motion extended as her confidence grew and her balance has gotten better through improved core stability. The load on Beryl’s arthritic ankle also reduced and allowed her to mobilise properly during her sessions. Activity also promotes a feeling of wellbeing so this form of therapy is a great way to help reduce depression and improve the patient's mood.

Outcomes

Severe fatigue, aching joints, muscle weakness, stiffness and widespread pain, has meant day-to-day life has been difficult for Nicola. Coming home from her office job, Nicola would collapse from exhaustion and feel unable to do anything else.

Previously fit, she was determined to find a suitable way to exercise and weekly sessions in the underwater treadmill have provided a pain-free, low-impact solution.

Nicola's aquatic therapy programme included a HYDRO PHYSIO treadmill and the Wellbeing pool. Both have enabled her to build strength, get fitter and increase her energy levels. This, in turn, has given her confidence a boost and she now feels more encouraged to do other things. She's started going to the gym and is doing a lot more around the house.

Nicola commented that "it never feels like a chore" and "the staff really seem to understand what she's going through"

ME, Fibromyalgia and Hypermobility - Nicola

Objective

Managing Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME), fibromyalgia and hypermobility.

Background

Nicola has suffered with ME and fibromyalgia for seven years and was finally diagnosed five years ago. She was finding it difficult to exercise, unfit and struggling to manage her symptoms.

Programme

  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Water Temperature: 31˚C
  • Speed: 3.5kph
  • Depth: 1100mm
  • Resistance Jets: Not activated
  • Direction: Forward
  • Number of Sessions: 7