What is rebound therapy?


Rebound Therapy is used to facilitate movement, promote balance, support an increase or decrease in muscle tone, promote relaxation, sensory integration, it improves fitness and exercise tolerance and to improve communication.


Rebound therapy uses trampolines to provide therapeutic exercises to people with a wide variety of disabilities and additional needs. The therapy involves using the moving bed of the trampoline to promote movement in the participant. By carrying out basic through to highly technical physiotherapy techniques on the trampoline, the therapy can provide many therapeutic and physiological benefits:


 Facilitate and promote movement and balance,  Improve fitness,  Increase or decrease muscle tone,  Help relax the participant,  Improve sensory integration,  Improve concentration  and even improve communication skills.




Benefits of Rebound Therapy


Rebound Therapy is one of the most popular activities for children with special needs in UK SEN schools.
It is also a very popular activity for people with disabilities of virtually all kinds and for all ages.


Some of the benefits of Rebound Therapy include the developing and improvement of:

  • Strength of limbs
  • Numeracy
  • Patience
  • Communication
  • Co-ordination
  • Independence
  • Self-confidence
  • Balance
  • Muscle tone
  • Reaction speed
  • Self-image
  • Eye contact
  • Relaxation
  • Freedom of movement
  • Sense of achievement
  • Stamina
  • Spatial awareness
  • Body awareness
  • Social awareness
  • Consideration of others
  • Trust and confidence in Coach/Assistant
  • Colour recognition
  • Height and depth perception
  • Fun and enjoyment



Other benefits include:

Stimulation of digestive system,
Improved bowel function,
Internal organ massage,
Clearing of toxins from the body.




Rebound Therapy aims to be accessible to all, as all can benefit. However, there are 6 exceptions to this rule. Unfortunately 6 medical conditions make it too unsafe for a person to rebound or take part in any kind of trampolining (and many other sports).


1. Atlanto-Axial Instability (AAI)2 : A condition associated with 10-40% of people with Down’s Syndrome. Weakened ligaments is normal in people with Down’s Syndrome, causing slack joints. This may cause a weakness in the AtlantoAxial joint of the first (Atlas) and second (Axis) vertebrae, right below the skull. This makes sufferers of AAI prone to a slippage of these vertebrae which can cause brain damage and paralysis. This Diagram shows the position of the Atlanto-Axial joint and how AAI can affect vertebrae position when moving.


2. Detaching Retina: This disorder is caused when the retina (the thin layer at the back of the eye, responsible for light detection) starts to separate from the eye socket. It can cause blindness if not treated early. Trampolining can cause the retina to completely detach, leading to total blindness.


3. Spinal Rods: This is a common treatment for Scoliosis (a sideways curvature of the spine, which can also cause the spine to twist and which can pull the ribcage out of position and disrupt the position of vital organs). After spinal fusion surgery active sports are not allowed for at least 6-12 months. Trampolining may disrupt any rods/screws or fusions in the spine made during surgery- worsening the patient’s condition.


4. Growth Hormone Deficiency5 (Dwarfism): Someone with GHD may have skeletal and joint stability problems that can worsen with trampolining.


5. Osteogenisis Imperfecta6 (Brittle Bone Disease): A congenital disease that means a gene is affected causing a deficit in the production of collagen, a major building block for bones. The condition causes extremely fragile bones that will be prone to breakages and fractures during trampolining.


6. Pregnancy: Trampolining during pregnancy can cause disruptions to the womb and has the potential to cause harm to an unborn baby. Also, the extra strain of such a high energy sport may cause damage to the mother whose vital organs are already functioning at a higher than normal level. 

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© Lisa Mensah