Warm Water Therapy Offers Hope for Guillian-Barre Recovery
Guilllain-Barre Syndrome (best said with a French accent). This is not a familiar phrase for many of us, but to those who have it are all too familiar with it’s symptoms.
According to PubMed Health, Guillian-Barre syndrome is a serious disorder that occurs when the body’s defense (immune) system mistakenly attacks part of the nervous system. This can lead to nerve inflammation which causes muscle weakness and numerous other symptoms. What is the most difficult part to grasp, is that there is no defined trigger of the syndrome. This condition may occur at any age, but it is most common in people of both sexes between ages 30 and 50. Guillain- Barre syndrome damages parts of nerves causing: tingling, muscle weakness and paralysis. Needless to say, facing the effects of this condition and each day can be quite a challenge.
Recently, KCRG, did a special feature on a senior living facility, Stone Hill Franciscan Services, that is treating a 30 year-old woman with Guillain-Barre using warm water aquatic therapy. Bridget Hamilton is a teacher in Dubuque, Iowa who is recovering from Guillian-Barre Syndrome. Hamilton is simply trying to live her life as normal as possible and with the introduction of aquatic physical therapy sessions, she is making strides toward her goal.
Hamilton tells KCRG that the “simple things like getting dressed and reaching for my feet for my socks and my shoes and to get dressed. It’s all becoming a lot more easy for me.” Getting in and out of a chair and walking across her room are major accomplishments for Hamilton.
These accomplishments are due in part to Hamilton’s visits with the therapists and the HydroWorx pool at Stonehill Retirement Community. She states, “Where I can barely life my legs up here [land], in the water I can get that full range of motion.” Her physical therapist, Rachel McDermott continues to discuss the reason for her progress by stating that, “the resistance of the water is really helpful because it’s kind of like walking with a weight on.” Typically it’s a little out of the ordinary for a 30-year-old to be rehabbing under the roof of a retirement community, but Stonehill has the equipment and knowledge to provide the therapy she needs. The HydroWorx 2000 Series pool that was installed in the Dubuque, Iowa’s facility, comes with a moveable floor that rises to the height of the pool room floor for easy access for the senior living clients and for Hamilton to walk directly in.
Hamilton’s balance and coordination have improved since beginning her time in the pool. Of course Hamilton wants to get healthy for improving her quality of life, but more importantly for her unborn child. Hamilton is 25 weeks pregnant and armed with the will to get her strength back.