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What Is Rebound Therapy?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Rebound therapy is a form of physical therapy that uses a trampoline to facilitate movement. In addition to trampolines, therapists may use other tools that allow people to bounce and jump, like large balance balls. This approach was introduced in the 1970s for the treatment of children with disabilities, including physical and intellectual disabilities like cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and paralysis. It can be used in school environments as well as therapy centers and may be part of comprehensive treatment that includes a variety of techniques.

A physiotherapist typically supervises rebound therapy sessions. They are tailored to the needs of the client after an intake interview to determine the client’s particular needs. This can include a review of patient history to identify concerns that might have an impact on the treatment plan, such as previous injuries that might make certain movements dangerous. Therapists can use a variety of tools to communicate with their clients, facilitating contact with people who are nonverbal as well as people who are comfortable talking.

In the sessions, clients bounce on the trampoline and work through a series of movements. These can include stretches. The goal of therapy may be to increase strength, muscle tone, and coordination. Jumping on a trampoline can require balancing skills and flexibility, and clients with physical disabilities may find that rebound therapy improves their physical coordination outside the therapy setting.

For clients with intellectual disabilities, the therapy can help with sensory integration, communication, and learning. Trampoline jumping can be a form of recreation and may be enjoyable, which can help break down barriers that make it difficult to communicate. Some people experience an increased ability to learn, focus on tasks, and interact with their peers after rebound therapy. Group sessions can also encourage cooperation and group problem solving, and may help integrate students into a school environment where they feel left out.

People who want to offer this service to their clients can receive training in rebound therapy. They are typically already certified in physical therapy or have backgrounds as athletic trainers and coaches familiar with gymnastics and related activities. Membership in professional organizations to promote physiotherapy can be advisable to help people network and develop connections with other people in the field. It’s also possible to join groups specifically dedicated to rebound therapy, which offer opportunities like conferences and trade journals to communicate with other practitioners and learn about the latest developments in the field.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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