Fibromyalgia Rehab with the HydroWorx Pool
In a recent webinar, Hima Dalal, occupational therapist and owner of Vital Energy Wellness and Rehab Center in Columbia, South Carolina, shared with viewers the benefits of treating fibromyalgia patients with a HydroWorx pool. Hima is a local healthcare expert, appearing regularly on local talk shows and authoring articles for publications in the midlands of South Carolina.
The following is a snapshot of what Hima discussed during this webinar. View the webinar in its entirety here>>
Fibromyalgia is a myofascial pain syndrome. Its symptoms resemble those of arthritis, yet fibromyalgia affects the body’s soft tissue, not the joints. Symptoms include widespread pain, mental fog, chronic pain and fatigue. The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but tends to be triggered by stress, injury, surgery, emotional trauma, autoimmune disease and anxiety.
The knee-jerk reaction for those who suffer from this disorder may be to find medication to lessen the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Hima teaches in this webinar that a manageable, healthy lifestyle can lessen many of the debilitating symptoms; proper diet, healthy sleep patterns and exercise can mitigate its effects. Proper exercise, however, is tricky—too strenuous and the patient can relapse; too light and exercise is less effective.
“If someone comes to you who gets exhausted just by emptying the dishwasher,” said Hima, “how are you going to succeed with manual therapy? Ultrasound is too sensitive on their skin. They can’t tolerate weight-bearing. That’s where the HydroWorx pool comes in the picture!”
Hima has been treating Fibromyalgia patients for over 20 years. Since she discovered the HydroWorx pool roughly 10 years ago, outcomes for her patients have dramatically improved. She says her patients’ lives have been changed.
Since graduating in 1981, she has always used an integrative approach and some form of water to treat patients.
Why aquatic therapy?
Hima believes water is the best medium to increase exercise tolerance without increasing pain making it one of the best natural mediums for fibromyalgia. When a patient receives therapy in a pool, hydrostatic pressure, resistance of water and the water temperature work together to improve outcomes. Twenty to 100% of a patient’s weight is removed when he/she is in the water, minimizing pain and discomfort.
Relaxation. Immersing oneself in warm water is relaxing. Warm water reduces stress and anxiety, improves attitude and morale, and is a positive medium to allow patient to do self-care. Water is also a good medium to facilitate relaxation which can help to regulate emotional health.
Viscosity. Water provides natural resistance for patients with low tone or generalized weakness to increase muscle strength, gross and fine motor skills, and trunk stability.
Buoyancy. The natural “float” of the water improves joint range of motion, reduces joint impact and decreases tactile defensiveness.
In the webinar, Hima shares the story of a fibromyalgia patient who came to her six weeks prior, suffering so badly from fatigue and pain that she couldn’t walk more than 10 to 15 steps at a time or keep her eyes open for more than ½ hour. She suffered from daily migraines.
“We started her in the pool just standing. Then we progressed with a little movement, no treadmill yet, just working to increase the core engagement.”
They progressed from there, soon walking for increasing distances on the underwater treadmill.
“This patient has made so much progress in the weeks she’s been with us. She tells me her life is changed. She has progressed to coming to our clinic three times a week and can do everything herself. She can fix a light meal now, she’s a two out of 10 with pain and no daily migraines. She’s functioning seven days a week now.”
End of webinar Q and A
During the Q and A session of the webinar, Hima fields such questions as “What pool temperatures are best for Fibromyalgia patients?” “How long is a typical session?” and “How does insurance work with aquatic therapy?”
For this webinar and much more education material regarding aquatic therapy and it’s many applications, visit our website>>
Thanks, Hima, for this vital information!