As someone who writes about their life and experiences, I'm not sure why i've never talked about my experiences with physiotherapy and the services they offered me. One of which was hydrotherapy.
I was very fortunate to receive a course of hydrotherapy a number of times. Unfortunately it never felt like enough. The course lasted 3-4 weeks, with 2 sessions per week. I always stated the one thing i wanted to improve was my sleep. At the time, i slept inconsistently with some nights resulting in no sleep at all.
I always found the weeks where i had hydrotherapy i was alot more relaxed and that often resulted in me sleeping better. We were encouraged to carry on the exercises at a local pool. However at the time i was in school full time, didn't drive and my nearest pool charged £5 per session. Hence, at that time in my life it wasn't overly realistic for me to carry it on.
So, i know how anxious i was every time i had to go to a session at the hospital. Here's a little run down on what to expect.
Often you'll get the session dates & times well in advance. My hydrotherapy sessions took place at my nearest hospital. In recent refurbishments they added a pool to their physio dept.
Once you've arrived and found where you need to go, often you'll have a few forms to fill in - Yes, they are the dreaded "Please rate your pain from 1-10" forms - but just get them filled in and you can move on.
There's often only a few invited for a session at a time. The most i've ever had was 5 other people in the pool with me. It is awkward - that is, if you're like me and have little social skills - but remember that no matter who the other people are, you are all in the same boat. You all have pain, and you're all doing your best to manage it. Actually once i'd got over my shyness, i met some lovely people with some very brave stories.
The main thing is to feel relaxed in the pool. It helps to much if you can feel calm. The exercises are in no way strenuous, they're more like stretches and you are under no obligation to anything that hurts. If you wanted you could just relax in the pool, the physiotherapists emphasised that we are the only people who know how much pain we are in - so we control how much we do.
I don't currently get hydrotherapy. But i'm very happy to say i'm at a good place with my pain and i go swimming once a week - something i never thought i'd be able to manage!
I'd recommend it to anyone, particularly if you are newly diagnosed or are going through a really tough time physically/mentally/emotionally. The time in the pool helped, but actually the time with the physiotherapists and fellow chronic illness sufferers really helped me to develop and eventually to be able manage my pain.
So there's my wee review. I think i'll do a few more reviews on things i've tried for pain in the past. If i can help anyone, it's worth it.
Love you all muchly, Beth xxx