Sunday, August 17, 2008

Doing Water Therapy

When my wife had to live in Florida for a couple of years, we rented a house that had a pool.

I'd had parkinson's for 4 years as well as arthritis in both knees. I was already excercisng, so I decided to switch to aquatic therapy while I was there. I found that there were a lot of exercises for water therapy on the web.

I wanted to do water therapy because I knew that it would allow me to exercise without much impact on my knees. The buoyancy and water pressure helped support the weight of my body and the density of the water caused resistance which allowed me to strengthen my muscles without using weights. The pressure of the water came from all around me; that helped my brain coordinate the position and movement of my limbs and torso and improved my balance.

In the summer the solar heating kept the water temp right around 91 degrees during the day. This heat was great for my parkinson's stiffness and relieved a lot of the joint swelling which helped to relieve my arthritis pain. During the summer I went into the water to excercise at least 2 times a day and felt no effects of over-exercise. I did my flexibilty exercises along the wall of the pool and balanced myself when floating on my back in a corner of the pool.

The warmth of the water during water therapy assists in relaxing muscles and opens vessels increasing blood flow to injured areas. Patients with muscle spasms, back pain and fibromyalgia find this very therapeutic.

If you are using an outdoor pool in the southern United States be sure to wear plenty of sun blocker. Get your doctor's approval before starting water therapy as there are situations where it might be contra-indicated. If you can and may try water therapy, try it. It's fun, it's relaxing and it's exercise.

Excercises and information about water therapy:

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