Aquatic exercise boosts recovery from

Multiple Trauma

Multiple trauma is when more than one area of the body has been injured due to a physically traumatic incident e.g. Road Traffic Collision (RTC), falls, sporting injuries etc. Injuries can range from soft tissue injuries, such as a torn muscle, to significant fractures (broken bones), ligament damage and neurological injuries (brain and spinal cord). Injuries which result in multiple trauma can have devastating and life changing effects. The earlier phase of recovery can be extremely frustrating because, as well as being in pain, often you are not allowed to put weight on certain injured areas of the body (non-weight bearing) in order to avoid causing further damage or slowing the healing process. During this time, significant muscle wasting and joint stiffening can occur simply through lack of use – this can cause problems with rehabilitation further down the road in your recovery. Therefore beginning your rehabilitation process as early as possible can significantly speed up your recovery period. Our trauma recovery programme provides you with a rehabilitation process which can start far sooner than any land based therapy treatment, even when you are non-weight bearing.

The benefits of hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy is simply performing exercise and movement in water. When we are submerged in water, the parts of our body which are submerged become weightless. Our specialist pool can enable you to exercise with reduced or no weight through your healing injuries. Other advantages of hydrotherapy for multiple trauma injuries are:

• The hydrostatic pressure (the weight of the water on your skin) improves blood supply and circulation which facilitates healing.
• The hydrostatic pressure can also aid in the reduction of swelling.
• The hot water temperature (34 degrees) provides muscle relaxation enabling better contractibility and firing of muscles.
• The relaxation of muscles also enables greater range of movement in joints reducing stiffness.
• All of the above can facilitate in reduced pain. In addition to this, the relaxation effect of warm water can contribute to suppression of the sympathetic nervous system which can also have positive effects on pain.
• The sensory input of the water can increase body position sense enabling improved feelings of balance and confidence further into your rehabilitation process.
• Through reduced pain and improved confidence, patients are able to move more freely which often leads to reduced fear and anxiety about their injury. This has a feed forward effect whereby behaviour is less affected by fear and thus patients can experience an earlier return to activity, significantly improving long term outcomes.

By starting the rehabilitation process earlier, recovery is accelerated offering you:

• A return to independence.
• An earlier return to work.
• A better quality of life and future.

I am writing to thank Aqua Physio in Morden. As you are well aware this has been a very difficult time for me trying to recover from multiple injuries including two broken legs, one in three places, a broken pelvis, broken arm, shattered elbow and multiple fractures to the head. The care, attention and professionalism I have received from Aqua Physio is incredible, from the early days when I was stuck in a wheelchair unable to put weight on my legs and being winched into the pool, to taking my first steps as the pool supported some of my body weight, to the on-going exercises I have been receiving since which has improved my walking no end. 

I was surprised at how well thought out and kitted out the pool is, with a selection of areas at different depths in which to do various techniques at different ability levels. The knowledge and technique's they have are first class. Their attention to detail, where the smallest details matter, do, without doubt, make a big difference and have aided my recovery incredibly.

I do, wholeheartedly, recommend anybody that is trying to improve their lower body movement to give it a try and reap the benefits. 

I like the fact that you are able to book with your usual therapist but in the unlikely event that they are away, you choose who takes you instead and they have a worksheet with your exercises on it so the treatment continues uninterrupted. This is an invaluable service which I will continue to use and recommend to others.


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What does rehabilitation involve?

Depending on the severity of your injuries and the recommendations made by your doctor regarding weight bearing, your programme will be progress through up to two categories of rehabilitation.

Non-weight bearing

If your doctor has advised that either of your lower limbs are to be non-weight bearing, this means you cannot put any standing pressure through them – even in the pool. Therefore your rehabilitation will take place either in deeper water where you cannot stand or in normal 4 foot depth, but with your non-weight bearing limb/limbs completely offloaded with buoyancy aids. There are still lots of exercise activities which can be done in the water despite the weigh bearing limitation. Our specialist pool is fully equipped with the latest aqua running equipment. This can be a fantastic way for non-weight bearing patients to maintain cardiovascular fitness as well as joint range of motion and muscle strength, particularly suitable to a recovering athlete but appropriate for anyone with these goals. As well as this our rehabilitation centre is fully staffed with aquatic physiotherapists who can train your muscles and facilitate joint movement in a completely non-weight bearing position such as floating on your back with nothing but hands on facilitation, drag resistance of the water and various buoyancy devices. If you are concerned about access to the pool there is nothing to fear, our site is fully wheelchair accessible and fully equipped with an electric hoist to facilitate access to the pool.

Partial or full-weight bearing

This would be the second stage of rehabilitation. You can progress to this phase once your doctor has advised you can progress from non-weight bearing to partially or full-weight bearing, your journey may begin here if your doctor advised this in the initial instance. The good news is that in most instances partial-weight bearing means that you can put up to 50% of your bodyweight through your affected lower limb (however this should be clarified with your doctor) and therefore there will be no limitations as to what we may do in the water. This phase of rehabilitation can be particularly sore as your bones and muscles will not be used to taking load through an injured lower limb – therefore performing this phase of your rehabilitation can be extremely useful due to the pain relieving benefits of the water. This phase of your rehabilitation will likely include a progressive programme designed for the individual in order to facilitate an improvement in muscular strength, fitness, endurance, a reduction in pain and, lastly, a return to your normal activities such as sport

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