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does aqua therapy work?



  • It put me in such pain, I could barely walk the next day. They told me that it doesn't work for everyone. I did aqua therapy before my surgry, and didn't have a problem. I also have been having bad muscle spasms at night, since I started the aqua therapy. When I went Wednesday, they told me that I will start land therapy, since the aqua was hurting me. I just hope that the land therapy helps me. I do really good as long as I am up moving around. Its at night when I go to bed or sit too long that I have problems with pain and muscle spasms. Is this normal? This is all still new to me, and I don't know whats normal or not.

    Spondy, L5/S1, 10 hour surgry on 1/29/09. Bolt thru S1/L5, Rods and screws, bone graph. Two fractures that were a surprise when they did the surgry. Which is why it took
    so long. It changed the whole surgry. Cat scan in March showed new bone growth. So am still praying and keeping my fingers crossed that everything is doing good. Also cat scan showed that one of the screws is rubbing on my nerves on the right side.
  • I have had similar problems at night, so I feel you. Could the screws rubbing on your nerves be causing this? (your cat was done laying down, so maybe it's only happening when you lay down?) I'm hoping it's something as simple as that for me, and they can just remove the hardware once fusion takes place.

    Good luck with your land therapy, I hope it works for you!

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  • I certainly hope it works or atleast helps to get me more fit and to lose weight. I am going to be starting this in 2 weeks. I am excited about exercising in water to build my strength as it hurts too much to do on land.
  • Thanks for the description, Kat.
  • I had a 360 fusion and discectomy Feb. 24th
    I started the aqua therapy at the very end of March.
    I go 3 times a week for 30 minutes. It feels great
    to me plus it is the best way I can get walking in
    and my therapist is great. This is just my experience
    but I think it is fabulous. I had an evaluation yesterday
    and I was some stronger. I was so weak when we began.
    Good luck, this is only my opinion though.
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  • I did 8 weeks of aqua therapy after my surgery. At first, I had increased pain after each session (I went 3 times a week for 1 hour sessions). When that was the case my therapist would modify my routine slightly. This is really important!! My PT said that too often people don't tell her that they were sore later that day or the next - but instead just stop coming. (It was a surprise to me that I hurt afterwards because everything was so easy to do in the water that I felt like I was not doing much.) Then, after the first 2 or 3 weeks I realized how much better I felt when I left the pool than I did when I got there - and I could do more and more of the exercises without pain the next day. I hated having the 8 weeks end.

    I think there are some fairly standard exercises - much like described above. I also used water weights and paddles to increase resistance for upper body. My exercises - with the except of about 5 minutes of just arm exercises were all done while walking - lunges, squats, etc. etc back and forth across the pool. Some with weights.

    I only wish I could have continued with it - I can really tell that my trunk muscles are not as strong now as they were when I completed the aqua therapy.

  • Aquatic therapy is very beneficial for many types of injuries and conditions. The buoyancy of the water helps to support body weight - which decreases the stress on the joints. This is beneficial for those with osteoarthritis, obesity, healing fractures and post-surgery (those who cannot fully bear weight through their lower extremities).

    The viscosity of the water provides good resistance while performing the exercises - allowing muscle strengthening and endurance training.

    The hydrostatic pressure of the water on the joints may help decrease swelling and improve balance and coordination. It also helps to reduce hypertension (high blood pressure).

    If performed in warm water, it can help increase blood flow to the extremities and relax muscles.

    Cardiovascular function can be improved with aerobic exercises: walking, side-stepping, jogging, treading water, jumping, swimming, kicking, etc.

    Not to mention, aquatic therapy is often performed in a group setting and therefore provides recreation and socialization, increased self-esteem and awareness.

    Pain is typically not experienced during or afterward. This exercise is recommended as an alternate to otherwise painful exercises and activities. Muscle soreness may occur as does with any physical activity. If you do experience any pain during or after the aquatic therapy, stop and tell your therapist or instructor immediately.
  • I've always been a firm believer in trying alternative treatment before resorting to surgery. Why not, right? Surgery isn't guaranteed- why risk being in more pain?

    I can empathize with your situation though- when you're in that much pain, you'll do just about anything to take care of it.

    I had a knee ailment that was caused by a disc shift in my back. After regular visits to the chiropractor (which did help greatly), my next move was to try water therapy. I highly recommend trying it.

    Depending on your financial situation, you may want to consider getting a hydrotherapy hot tub. I got the Amore Bay from Dimension One Spas (d1spas.com). I feel like it was designed for people with joint and back injuries. The seats perfectly contour to your spine, which allows you to completely relax- and it soothes the pain.

    You could also do low impact exercises in them. I think they came out with a hot tub that is designed for this too...

    I hope that helps. Take good care!
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