Cerebral Palsy - Imogen

Objective

Build strength and improve mobility following SDR surgery.

Background

Immy is a lively and lovable 9 year old girl who suffers from cerebral palsy. She loves life and has a passion for performing arts, but there’s one thing she’d love more than anything, and that’s to be able to dance with her friends.

To get around, she tends to crawl at home, as it's easier and safer, and uses a wheelchair when she's out and about.

Recently, Immy had Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery to take away all the spasticity in her body and give her the best chance of a more independent life.

She comes to H2O Physio as part of her rehabilitation programme, which is vital for her to get the best out of the operation.

Programme

  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Water Temperature: 31˚C
  • Speed: Session 1 – 0.7kph to 1.0kph / Session 6 – 0.7kph to 1.6kph
  • Distance: Session 1 – 0.349km / Session 6 – 0.618km
  • Depth: 960mm
  • Resistance Jets: Not activated
  • Direction: Forward
  • Number of Sessions: 6

Outcomes

Immy's first underwater treadmill session took place just over a month after her operation. Surgery went well and, apart from getting tired easily, Immy was in good shape with no tightness, except in her hamstrings, and no spasticity.

Initially, Immy sat on a chair as the water filled/emptied, walked at a slower speed for longer and worked hard on keeping her heels down, as well as improving her heel to toe action.

By the fourth session, Immy was feeling much stronger, standing as the treadmill filled with water and able to take her hands off the handrails while walking. At this point, floats were introduced, to encourage her to walk without holding onto the bars, helping to build her confidence and improve her balance.

Progress has been steady and the sixth session saw Immy take her hands off the rails straight away, walk at a top speed of 1.6kph for a few minutes and get her heels down for longer. She also started with sideways steps, both to the right and the left, and almost doubled the total distance she covered in session one.

Visit Immy's Facebook Page >