Welsh International footballer, Jess Fishlock, MBE opens the newly refurbished Hydrotherapy & Rehabilitation Centre

Date Posted: 3rd March 2021

The outstanding Hydrotherapy & Rehabilitation Centre opens its doors to patients and athletes across Wales this week. St Joseph’s purpose-built facility boasts a specialist-led rehabilitation centre which is unrivalled in Wales. 

The Rehabilitation Centre includes a significant investment in specialist rehabilitation equipment and facilities to support people to return to their normal lives. The 40 square metre hydrotherapy pool is the only one of its size for 150 miles around.

Jess Fishlock, MBE comments “I’m delighted to open the newly-refurbished hydrotherapy and rehabilitation centre today and feel very fortunate that we have access to these specialist rehabilitation facilities in Wales. When I returned home to Wales in 2019 after knee surgery in America, my joint was incredibly stiff and very hard to bend so I needed high-quality rehabilitation.” 

“The team at St Joseph’s Hospital were incredible. Their clinical expertise, alongside access to the hydrotherapy pool and AlterG anti-gravity technology, contributed to a full recovery. Affordable rehabilitation services, tailored to the individual’s needs are crucial for returning normal functionality for both athletes and patients having had joint surgery.” 

Hydrotherapy involves carrying out exercises and specific physiotherapy techniques in warm water to help relieve pain, relax, strengthen muscles, increase circulation, and subsequently improve function. 

Exercise in the pool greatly benefits conditions such as arthritis and muscle pain. It can be used for rehabilitation after operations such as hip or knee replacements and for musculoskeletal disorders generally. Hydrotherapy can be used in combination with normal land-based physiotherapy sessions to add variety and speed up rehabilitation. The pool temperature is maintained at 32 to 35 degrees centigrade, which is much warmer than a normal swimming pool.

Specialist rehabilitation equipment includes the AlterG anti-gravity treadmill that used technology originally developed for astronauts by NASA. It helps people get moving sooner in a pain-free environment. By using anti-gravity to take away up to 80% of body weight, it reduces the impact on damaged joints, creating the optimum environment for exercise.

Jan Green, Director of Clinical Services at St Joseph’s Hospital comments “Refurbishment of our rehabilitation and hydrotherapy facilities means more people can be seen and treated at St Joseph’s Hospital. The rehabilitation facilities are truly outstanding supported by an expert team of physiotherapists.”

The refurbishment is part of the continued multi-million-pound investment in St Joseph’s Hospital.