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Ataxia UK
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Has anyone tried this, love to know if you would recommend as a therapy for Ataxia.

We have a pool close by which is open to hire for the public, which my husband whom has idiopathic Cerebellar Ataxia.


17 Replies

hi I have ataxia type 2 ive had hydro on and off for the last 6 or 7 years and

it helped quite well but being nhs I only got 1 appointment a week for 6 weeks

then I had to wait about 4 months for another 6 sessions if they had of continued

with it that would have done more good , but it did help,

best wishers



Thank for your reply. I asked because the neuro physio has said it wouldn’t be a good thing for him because it would make his muscles floppy. In what way did it help you please?

We have a local pool which is only £10 for half an hour. Did you need the physio to be in the pool with you.


hi no the physio gave me exersisers to do in the pool and let me

get on with it, having hydro built my muscles up and made me a lot

stronger all so it improved my balance.


My daughter has FA and like Ray gets sessions from the Nhs now and then. She goes to the hospital pool with her physio and gets loads of benefits. She gets stronger and it really boosts her confidence. It’s lovely to see her enjoying herself whilst exercising


The theory behind the neuro physio judgement is that it will make his muscles floppy, which is ok if he’s was a hoist transfer, but because he can weightbear for very short periods to transfer from and to his power, it will be unsafe, so he can’t get it through the NHS. Your answers are great great thank you, I’m thinking of asking the Ataxia nurses at Sheffield if they will recommend him for the hydrotherapy and perhaps get a budget for it. Thanks again


Hi. I have CA & via my neurologist I experienced the hydrotherapy pool a few times. I personally didn't feel the heated water was of any benefit but certain exercises they taught me ie jogging on the spot without looking at my feet & walking in a figure of 8 i did in an ordinary pool & they helped. I wud say give it a go. Ur husband may find it helps. Everyone is different.

I cudnt swim at 1st & perservered. I used 'toggles' (long foam tubes) for buoyancy. Swimming in general is supposed to be a great exercise for ataxia. It's great to walk in the water too as you've the water resistance. A foam tube can go around ur body or can be held to aid if ur frightened of falling but at least you can't hurt yourself when falling!😜


Hi Ginger

Thanks for your post, are you still able to walk? I ask because you said about jogging in the water and wondered if this was something you can do if not able to walk on dry land. My husband does the gym three times a week so his muscle power is good, he can't walk tho.


Hi Angelcake ... I love hydro but find just using a swimming pool as beneficial. I can walk in water unaided ( I use a rollator & wheelchair ) I swim with a toggle and can move my entire body, which is the most amazing feeling. I even do rolly pollys much to my own amusement. Being in the water I feel alive & free. Fab that your hubby goes to the gym , the water whichever you decide will be great for him and you(.

Have fun



Hi Mary

He used to swim 3 times a week but his coordination is very poor now, the main reason he stopped going was because his swallow is very poor and he aspirates causing pneumonia. Left to him he would still go but I had to intervene as his breathing was out of sinc and would inhale as he put his face into the water. That’s why I would so love him to go to hydrotherapy but was worried about going against the neuro physio advice. I asked here because to me you are the experts x


Hi Angelcake1, I used to go to neuro hydrotherapy and it did make me feel stronger, because I am weak. They only let me have 20 to 30 minutes in the pool because of how warm it is and then give you a drink on coming out. On coming out of the pool I did find it difficult at first because I felt my legs were really heavy to move, so I was quite off balance, but it did make me feel stronger in the end, worth going, take it easy at first and do not stay in too long.

Enjoy, Suzie


Thank you suzie, that’s s great help x


Yes. It is great therapy! My ataxia mostly in lower legs and core and my. GP and PT both recommend. I try to do in warm salt water.


Great thank you, I’m going to show these posts to the NHS, if they won’t let him go


Hello, I have used hydrotherapy solely for relaxing.

I find that a hot shower, as hot as can be tolerated directed at the top of the spine allowing the water to run down the back ia a great relief and sets me up for a good part of the day 😃


Thanks for your reply, my husband love a really got shower. He’s always very cold did runs a low body temperature so I’m sure he’ll like the hydro pool


I went with my son to a local pool. He was very enthusiastic. I went in the baby pool but i couldn't find a way to prevent the water from entering my mouth and thus drowning


Hi Neta

Thanks for your reply, in an older post Litty said she uses an inflatable collar to keep her head above water💧 maybe something you could try.


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