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Thread: I'm always super tired after aqua therapy, why?

  1. #1
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    I'm always super tired after aqua therapy, why?

    The easy answer is because I spend too much time working out in the pool (2hours every day) this is under the instruction of my doctor, so I do it. I'm not a stranger to an intense workout regimen, as I have been consistently working out in the gym for 11 years (4-5 days a week 2 hours a day) now post injury (c5-c7, walking quad). Its just recently that I have incorporated the pool into my routine. It seems even if I spend less time than the 2 hours I'm still completely beat. Is it something to do with the way the water affects the body, since I can do more in the water the body doesn't really feel the fatigue until after? tia

  2. #2
    It might be due to the heat of the water, for so long a time - heat from any source can be depleting to people with SCI. My suggestion would be to cut back to 15-20 minutes a day in the pool for a few days and see what happens; if you're okay with that, gradually add to your time until you notice fatigue - that will be your limit for now. Sometimes less is more.

  3. #3
    Senior Member jschism's Avatar
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    It's easy to over-do it with SCI. You have to learn the point before you crash, it usually comes like someone flipped a switch. If you can learn the signs before you get to that point, recovery will be easier.
    I've recently started going to the pool, I've noticed my body does some weird things after I get out for a while. I don't know if it is the temp change or what? Sometimes I still have that floating feeling in my legs.

  4. #4
    Can you sip some gatorade while working out in the pool?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonnette View Post
    It might be due to the heat of the water, for so long a time - heat from any source can be depleting to people with SCI. My suggestion would be to cut back to 15-20 minutes a day in the pool for a few days and see what happens; if you're okay with that, gradually add to your time until you notice fatigue - that will be your limit for now. Sometimes less is more.
    I think your right, especially when I get into the hot tub afterwards, it literally makes me feel flaccid. The thing is 20 minutes isn't nearly enough for me to do my exercises. Wouldn't my body just adapt after awhile?

  6. #6
    I looked at your profile to see the cause of your SCI, and it looks like you've had a traumatic accident. My SCI is disease-related (MS), but in either situation the spinal cord has a problem conducting signals properly - and heat exacerbates the difficulty. SCI alters the body's ability to process sensation and transmute nerve signals into action.

    Heat fatigue with flaccidity is so common in MS that it used to be considered a diagnostic symptom - the nerves are like uninsulated electrical wires, and they overheat in similar ways; this symptom does not improve with time. I do not know if traumatic SCI is different from MS in that respect, but one thing I have learned is that we cannot push our bodies beyond what they are capable of processing in the moment - we have to constantly adapt our exercise routines to our bodies' capacities, which is the opposite of what we were used to doing pre-SCI.

    20 minutes might not be enough for you to perform your established exercise regimen, but if that is all the oomph your cord has got, it will have to do - and you will need to find other forms of exercise to fill the gap. Or you might discover (as I have) that your body gets plenty of exercise lugging itself around and compensating for loss of function. I can't even take a 5-minute shower without experiencing heat fatigue, to the extent that I must lie down for half an hour before I can ambulate with my crutches; so 20 minutes in a warm pool sounds like a long time to me! With SCI, everything is relative.

    Observation of your own body is the key to exercise tolerance. As jschism says, learn your personal fatigue symptoms and stop before they become full-blown. Recognize your present limits, and accept them. They might not be permanent, and you can gently test your boundaries as time goes on. Adaptation to heat might be possible for you, or it might not - there is no way to predict, you will need to be patient and see what your post-SCI body is capable of processing.

    We are always saying at CareCure that every SCI is different, and those are not just words. Your spinal cord's gross anatomy is like other humans' - but its wiring is not precisely like anyone else's, and it can't be held to externally imposed standards. That was one of the hardest lessons for me to learn, and I either caused (through overdoing) or allowed (through acting on the advice of ignorant PTs) many injuries to myself before I acknowledged that my hardware had changed - and my software (i.e., personal programming) had to accommodate to the new conditions.

  7. #7
    Philly... I too get fatigued after a good pool workout. I found by drinking more fluids before my exersice and a protien bar or shake. It gives me the energy to have a good workout. The pool has help me alot in my rehab post injury..

  8. #8
    How warm is the pool where you are working out? If it is over 80F, that is too warm for someone with a SCI or MS. 75F is recommended. Often "therapy" pools are kept at around 85F for people with arthritis and other orthopedic conditions, which is too warm for someone with SCI or MS. You no longer have the ability to regulate your body temperature normally, so you can get too warm in a too warm pool. The same goes for hot tubs, which should not be over 104F for someone with an SCI or MS, and should be limited to no more than 5-10 minutes of use (and never alone). Weakness can be an early sign of overheating and even early heat stroke.

    (KLD)
    Last edited by SCI-Nurse; 04-30-2012 at 04:52 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    How warm is the pool where you are working out? If it is over 80F, that is too warm for someone with a SCI or MS. 75F is recommended. Often "therapy" pools are kept at around 85F for people with arthritis and other orthopedic conditions, which is too warm for someone with SCI or MS. You no longer have the ability to regulate your body temperature normally, so you can get too warm in a too warm pool. The same goes for hot tubs, which should not be over 104F for someone with an SCI or MS, and should be limited to no more than 5-10 minutes of use (and never alone). Weakness can be an early sign of overheating and even early heat stroke.

    (KLD)
    I'll try to find out, I was recommended to go to the pool daily even when I do a total body work out earlier in the day I still go later in the day. I think the hot tub adds to the fatigue more so than the pool, but I was told that its good for the spasticity. I personally like going to the pool daily and feel I get more out of those workouts than the ones at the gym, is daily too much? this is by the intense method of the Russians lol

  10. #10
    Pool therapy is great, and every day is good, but you need to use a pool with the proper temperature. While hot water will help temporarily with spasticity, it will also make you feel more tired and drained, esp. if you stay in for more than 5-10 minutes.

    (KLD)

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