Fibromyalgia Rehab with the HydroWorx Pool
What Is Fibromyalgia
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.
How To Treat Fibromyalgia
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.
Why Aquatic Exercise For Fibromyalgia
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.
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.
Water provides natural resistance for patients with low tone or generalized weakness to increase muscle strength, gross and fine motor skills, and trunk stability.
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.”