Benefits of Hydrotherapy for those with MS

1st January 2017

Burrswood has been part of study looking at the relationship between fatigue and health related quality of life in people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) after six sessions of aquatic physiotherapy.

The research was carried out by the lecturers at the University of Brighton and the clinicians at Burrswood Hospital. Data was collected from 103 people with Multiple Sclerosis who had received six sessions of one to one aquatic physiotherapy. Assessments were then performed before and after the sessions to measure fatigue. Burrswood is very grateful to the high number of patients who have completed the questionnaire (known as the Burrswood Standardised Data Collection Tool or BSDCT) with results demonstrating that a course of physiotherapy helps to reduce fatigue and improve quality of life.  Our next step is to objectively look at what happens over time.

A patient’s perspective


I just wanted to drop a note to outline the difference that attending physio at Burrswood makes to my life.

I started coming along to hydrotherapy fairly soon after I was diagnosed with MS by Dr. Saldana some 3 1/2 years ago. The diagnosis came about following surgery to my ankle that stubbornly refused to get better. Prior to this I was very active, playing golf, swimming and attending exercise classes a number of times each week.

The hydrotherapy put some activity back in my life and I felt I was fighting back but, the mobility I had always taken for granted was slipping away. I went from walking unaided to needing crutches then to a manual wheelchair swiftly followed by an electric wheelchair.

With each decline in my mobility the team at Burrswood adapted their approach to best suit my changed abilities and I moved from sessions in the pool to land based sessions From time to time, either due to illness or mood, my visits tailed off. When this has been the case either Sue (Pople) has given me a call to find out if I am ok which has spurred me in to action or I have called in and have asked to rejoin sessions after realising how much I have missed them

The sessions at Burrswood have four distinct benefits to me;

    1) physically they enable me to keep as strong and flexible as possible as many of the exercises we do can be adapted to the home environment with the help of my partner

    2) psychologically it allows me to fight the condition and this has a very positive boost

    3) it allows me to discuss possible symptoms with someone who has experience before I take them to a medical practitioner

    4) it gives me a chance to meet other people with the same condition