I started PT a few weeks ago, baby PT, and started walking in the pool this week. Right now, I can barely walk in the water my legs are so weak. Kicking, my legs don't feel attached to my body and I can barely move them. I had drop foot so leg is still weak. But both legs are weak from limited activity.
Before I was only walking for exercise after surgery july 1st. The PT and the pool have really reduced my pain lately. The PT expained to me that weak muscles (from being down 6 months with a herniated disk) are causing much of my pain. the muscles are not strong enough to do what we ask them to do so spasms causing pain. anyways, wanted to share that because I had not understood that before. Also, electrical therapy and massage are reducing my pain considerably. Just light massage far from the incision site is a big pain reducer.
I wanted to share something positive to give others hope.
Just wanted to say that I am very happy for you. I appreciate your post because I am starting pt next week and it's nice to hear something positive. Good luck with the rest of your pt, I hope it just keeps getting better! Take care. Kristy.
Hi, Iin answer to your questions, I had a microdiskectomy on L4/L5 to remove a fragment that was compressing the nerve that resulted in drop foot. Have a large top to bottom disk tear, so I have to be extra careful in my recovery.
I am walking in the pool which is hard to do, as I am so weak still. I did 8 laps very slowly. Turtle crawl. did NOT realize how weak I was until got into pool. i walk every day and thought I had SOME muscles!
I did try to kick by hanging onto the wall but can barely do so. Legs did not feel attached to body. Creepy. PT said to do whatever I can in the pool as long as it doesn't hurt. I used to do water aerobics so I am doing some arm exercises I used to do. Those have gone all flabby too!
Advise: set a time limit in the pool and don't overdo it. Working against the water is a tougher on the muscles workout than on land and you will FEEL the pain later if you overdue it.
I'm really only doing baby steps right now, just water walking. My leg goes weak on me still after awhile, so I"m very limited. Those of you who didn't get drop foot or have a weak leg will do much better.
I did notice that after yesterday's pool session, I had much less butt pain the rest of the day! that butt pain has been awful. If you have a warm therapy pool, that is a wonderful place to do your workout and the heat feels good. I start in the pool, do my walking, then get chilled and finish in the warm therapy pool.
Your therapist can give you exercises on paper for you to follow in the pool, and you can laminate the pages adn take them into the water with you for reference. I was afraid that I wouldn't see much improvement since I'm doing so little in the pool, but it's helping!
Good luck to all of you! Let me know what you are doing, especially in the pool! Let's keep each other updated.
One other thing. from previous PT i learned that those with some back problems (like bulging or herniated disks) should refrain from any twisting exercises or jumping up and down exercises in the pool. Also, was told not to do frog kick, but to swim with legs straight out kicking. Frog kick puts more pressure on the back. Ask your PT.
Try to take your land exercise and do it in the pool, like lifting leg up and down to side, front or back etc. I'm not a PT so you have to ask them what you can and cannot do. there are all kinds of water exercises.
Thanks for your help! My therapy will be in a warm water pool, so I'm grateful for that. I plan on starting out very slowly...it will be interesting to see what kind of strength I have in the water opposed to on land. I do have a drop foot, and I am not allowed to do any land PT, so I'm hoping this will help to build some strength (preparing for a fusion). Keep us updated!