Physiotherapy - in the hospital
The Aquatic Therapy pool is a child friendly, fun environment that encourages all our patients to reach their full potential by working on their strength, flexibility, balance, posture, mobility and functional activities on an individual or group basis.
The Aquatic Therapy pool at Alder Hey was opened in October 1991. The water temperature is 35⁰ C. The pool measures 7 by 5 metres, with a depth from 0.9 to 1.2 metres. There is also a small shelf and steps at the shallow end of the pool allowing different depths for treatment and access. Underwater lights provide good visibility and a hoist enables immobile patients to get in and out of the pool using one of our beds or chairs.
What is Aquatic Physiotherapy?
Aquatic Physiotherapy is a form of physiotherapy treatment which takes place in a heated pool. Using warm water to relieve discomfort and promote physical well-being, the physiotherapist designs a therapy programme utilising the properties of water.
Using the heat and buoyancy of water, pain can be eased and muscles relaxed to aid normal movement and function that is not possible on land. Exercise against the resistance of the water can improve muscle strength, co-ordination, endurance and balance. Water immersion also helps to improve circulation and reduce swelling.
This unique environment can also be used to develop functional skills and independence, whilst encouraging relaxation and a general feeling of well-being.
Who we treat?
Aquatic Physiotherapy can be appropriate for a wide variety of in and out patients with different conditions within all physiotherapy specialities. We consider each patient for their suitability, on an individual basis, after a medical screening form has been completed. Some of our more specialised areas include: patients who are ventilated or have tracheostomies and patients with Ilizarov frames.
What if I can’t swim?
You do not need to be able to swim to use our pool, and a member of staff will be in the pool with you.
What will happen when we arrive?
You need to allow enough time for changing before your appointment time. You and your child will be shown to the changing area. At your first appointment you will be asked to complete a health screening sheet with a member of staff. You will be asked for consent to the treatment and be able to discuss any questions.
What happens in the pool?
Before entering the pool everyone should have a quick shower. The physiotherapist will assess your child during the initial session. At the end of session the physiotherapist will advise you of when to arrange further appointments.
- Shampoo and toiletries for afterwards
- Swim nappy for babies
- Incontinence garments if required