View Full Version : Pool/Water Therapy
02-08-2003, 03:47 PM
I am a t-4 para without any voluntary movement below the level of injury. I just discovered a pool at a community center right near my house. I went for the first time last Thursday. Much to my surprise, I found that I could move my right leg a tiny bit in the water.
I also found that floating in the water was a real joy. My body was not touching anything for once! My ass was not in a chair nor my body lying in bed. It really felt great.
My question: Is anyone doing pool/water therapy? I plan on trying to swim laps in the future, but I want to know if there are other exercises, etc. that people do in the pool.
If you are doing anything in a pool, please let me know what it is and what benefits you have realized with the exercises.
02-08-2003, 08:36 PM
I try to swim about 3 times a week and I love to be in the pool. I try to use a kick board, try to walk, and try to swim laps. The first two don't really work, but I keep doing it anyway. The laps are good, cause you can get your heart rate up as well as get a work out. But mostly I just like the free feeling in the pool. Like you said, I'm not touching anything, it's wonderful. Plus I have some horrindous spasms that kind of loosen up in the pool, but getting out is hard on me cause my muscles make up for lost time.
I don't know if that really helped at all,
02-09-2003, 07:38 AM
As well as being a great active exercise for my upper body ( I am T10 complete) swimming really unstiffens my legs, much better than other passive leg exercises and leg stretching exercises I have tried. Having legs that I can straighten, using my arms, with no stiffness/resistance makes transfers to bed/car/anywhere else so much easier, so I swim laps several times a week.
02-09-2003, 09:44 AM
For advanced pool related therapy you may want to check out www.hydroworx.com (http://www.hydroworx.com) they have some neat ideas / equipment.
I wish we could all get in a pool daily. Aqua therapy is great for all the reasons mentioned.
I've been doing aqua therapy for about 3 months now. I'm a T-11 complete. Fortunately I got a good amount of return and can do some different things in water and out. Hopefully I didn't plateau and w/any luck the repeated aqua therapy will prove beneficial. Did you try any exercises using weights? It's a good feeling to be able to use them. You really should try it if you can!
Den in Philly
02-09-2003, 04:22 PM
Anybody have one of those Hydroworx pools? Any idea on the cost of one?
02-09-2003, 05:01 PM
I like to swim laps using a scuba mask and snorkel. The timing and breathing is too hard since I kind of flounder in the water post-SCI. I can kick a little. I've gotten a lot of my return in the water. My trainer said walking in the water will just make weak muscles weaker and strong muscles stronger. I don't know about that, sounds lame to me (excuse the pun, please.) Betheny
02-17-2003, 11:48 AM
I would really like to get back into the pool but have had some problems.
I am a T 10/11 walking imcomplete.
When I was an inpatient I was taken to the pool and found that the moment my legs hit the cold water my spasticity went nuts. My legs got so stiff, I couldn't bend my knees or flex at all. Yikes.
Anyone else found this happening? What did you do to combat this?
02-17-2003, 12:30 PM
Thanks for all the great responses.
AngelaandKC, where are you swimming in Seattle?The pool I go to is supposed to be around 85 degrees. Each time it feels like a different temperature, so who knows. It is warm enough that the water temp does not cause spasms.
For those who swim laps, if you don't have any leg movement, how do you keep them afloat so that you can swim laps?
02-18-2003, 08:23 AM
i also just started pool therapy in ohio. my spaticity lessens in pool,i can move my right leg voluntary, not much but in the pool i can move both.
theres a guy there who had same movement as i but he's been going for 6 months and now can stand alone in the pool.
02-19-2003, 06:22 AM
HC- "For those who swim laps, if you don't have any leg movement, how do you keep them afloat so that you can swim laps?"
I have no leg movement and found laps diificult because my legs kept sinking. To solve this I now swim with a small piece of soft polystrene strapped just above each knee to keep my legs afloat. I use wide neoprene straps, with velcro fasteners; these are soft and stretchy and prevent the straps from marking my legs. These allow me to swim freestyle at near normal speeds but are not good for swimming breast stroke.
I have also successfully used a small pair of kid's inflatable arm-bands on my knees that achieve the same thing.
02-19-2003, 04:53 PM
Adrian, thanks for the information. I will try it out.
Most people I know who swim (including those with low tetraplegia) don't use floatation devices, but if you want one, here is one resource:
02-24-2003, 09:13 AM
I was going to the therapy pool at Fircrest with the in-patients from Harborview. Fircrest is in the Shoreline area. They do have a public swim times. There are two pools. One regular one that is supposed to be a little warmer that an average pool. Has a lift. There is also a warmer pool, a little less warm than a hot tub, but the lift doesn't go into it. At least I don't think.
You can probably call Harborview to CORP and talk to the Rec therapist, what was her name. . . Jody McKenzie.
I have moved to the Olympia area so it is hard for me to get the Fircrest. I am talking to my PT to find somewhere else to go.
Let me know if you need more info.
05-18-2003, 01:45 PM
bumping for newer members