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Pool therapy for the legs

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    Pool therapy for the legs

    Does anyone know or have any ideas on things to do in the pool to move and work on the legs,my dad is a c6/7 incomplete and has full sensation and the rehab place where he is staying does not focus on the legs at all I find it rather fustrating since I am doing his therapy and since the pool is somewhat weightless it might be something I could do alone with him.I would love any input.

    The book, overcoming paralysis by burdenko has been discussed on this website. It's an excellent resource.


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      Shawn (

      Remember - Dare to Dream


        I highly recommend pool therapy, it help me drastically, as initally I was so weak, I had exceptionally bad knee control & quads, so 'land' workouts where tiresome and hard to do.

        My PT decided to transfer me to the pool & it has MADE THE WORLD of difference. My PT is a tough guy, and makes me work hard, both in & out of the pool.

        He combines a mixture of exercises (e.g quads, knees, buttocks & trunk), a variety & many of my exercises are done using what's called in RSA a pool noodle, I'm not sure what it is called in the States, so I've attached pictures for you in case it is referred to as something else. Image009 is me in the pool with the pool noodle lying in front of me.

        They do advise that pool therapy be performed under professional supervision, but I'm sure if initally you & your dad started with a PT who could view the work outs, you couldn't then move to working alone with your father.

        Water is a great healing source in my opinion, as it has made the world of difference to me. Plus it provides soft resistance without causing any further injury due to loss of balance etc.. however enabling you to do a lot of exercises with the water providing the resistance.

        Your dad would need to be assessed in regard to his balance, knee control etc.. & have the best most effective exercises table drawn up for him. Obviously I'm not a professional, and the info provided is just in my opinion as a SCI person, but like me, he would need to be assessed whereby a muscle chart was done, where they get you to do a variety of exercises, and grade your ability, therefore determining your strong & weak muscles, and the best programme to maximize results.

        Have a look at as a lot of the exercises I perform in the pool are provided in great detail. Also, in my opinion I was really pro-active in finding exercises and showing them to my PT & as a team we found a programme that worked for me.

        I do hydro-therapy 5 days a week for 45 minutes a day, which consists LOTS of using the pool noodle as resistance and placing my ankles across the top of the noodle of the water and then pushing it beneath the waters surface using my quads, it's strengthning the quad as well as your buttocks muscles. A lot of bending and putting weight through the knees, practicing knee control, & running/brisk walking in the water or slow steady walking depending on how strong your legs/balance/knee control are using the pool noodle to keep you afloat/support.

        I also do a lot of walking in & out of the stairs in the pool (they are submerged in the water) so the 'support' is there, stepping onto each step, and applying the weight through my quads & knees to step forward, of course, your dad will be required to hold onto the bars initally, and they will even support him until he builds up his strength & confidence of his abilities to step freely. I do a lot of under water kicking, as if kicking a soccer ball as well as lying on the flat bed that is partically submerged in the water and doing trunk exercises. Cycling in the pool is another excellent exercise.

        When I 1st started hydro-therapy, I couldn't stand at all, I would just flop down and fall, I was paralyzed from the waist down, and had to be lowered into the pool by a hoist & had supervision within the pool at all times, I had no balance & no strength and couldn't hold myself up in the water at all now 4 months later, I use 1 elbow crutch, and walk into the pool by myself down the ramp unaided, walk in the pool upright, and can even walk unaided on land a little distant.

        Your dad will feel tired at first until he builds up his muscles & strength, but the results are amazing in my opinion & I recommend any SCI to do hydro-therapy, however I will always stress that each SCI patient will produce different results in the pool/therapy, and the degree or severity of your SCI is obviously an important factor in the recovery process.

        Today, as I'm not working, I do PT 5 days a week, consisting of 45 mins of hydro-therapy every day, an then a vigorious 2 hr workout consisting of cycling, walking etc..

        Your PT is very important in the healing/recover process & your bodies own ability to heal (e.g at what pace), never force or push to hard, but always give the best of what you've got available on that given day.

        Hope this helps your dad on his road to recovery, and I think it's amazing you are there for your father.

        If you need me to provided my detailed hydro-therapy programme, plz don't hesitate to email me and I can provide it. I had a burst T12, decompression of T10/11 & a cracked pelvis, so healing is possible I feel with using the pool as a strong basis for your exercises & having a tiger as a PT.


        ''Laugh often, long & loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.....and if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots & lots of time with them.''


          Carolyn, glad to heat that the pool has helped you so much. Thanks for posting the link - it's got some good exercises in it!

          T12 Incomplete - Walking with Crutches, Injured in Oct 2003


            Thank you

            thanks to all for the information,its greatly appreciated.


              Hi all...sorry for the late reply, was away for the weekend.

              Obviously the severity of the injury is what is a major factor, but the water has just moved be on in leaps & bounds.

              Best of luck to all.

              ''Laugh often, long & loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.....and if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots & lots of time with them.''