water therapy is great

July 13, 2007 at 10:22 am

My 12-yr-old has been in a wheelchair (mostly) since GBS in Feb 07. (Can walk w/ a walker or with someone to hang on to; but not too far).

When we started Aquatic Therapy in April she could barely do anything in the water, and it was exhausting. However, after about 6 sessions, we began to see real improvement. Now we’ve continued therapy on our own. Last month she was able to start swimming. It was a huge morale booster! Now we go 4-5 times a week, adding a couple laps every time we go. She’s up to 28 laps (almost 1/2 mile)…it has helped her overall strength and overall energy very much. Mainly it strengthens her upper body, since she primarily uses her arms, but it stretches all her muscles, keeping her more flexible (she’s had issues with joint/muscle stiffness). In the last few weeks she is able to kick a little, just not with any real power yet. Still can’t walk unaided yet, but it is helping overall. We see a rehab doc and he’s the one who recommended water.

Since you CAN walk (but it is exhausting/painful), I would think switching to water for a while might be a way to gain strength. For my daughter, it really has helped. I hope it helps you, too. Good luck to you!