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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Message Board

Water Therapy

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Old 03-04-2005, 02:32 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Victoria, BC
Posts: 230
aicirtapo HB User
Water Therapy

I have answered a number of posts from new people wondering about therapy, but I think it is important that I start a new thread related to my experience with water therapy. When I first got rsd in a knee that already had arthritis as a result of a car accident, I was in such pain I sat around, went to physio and doctors and worried like everyone else. Then after some research and learning the necessity for movement, (phsyio was not working), I went back to my acquasize class. At first I had to go on crutches and they had to put me in with hydrolic chair and I was only able to do minor workout. But gradually over the last four years I have built up so that now I go three times a week and do a full workout, stretching after (an absolute necessity as muscles shorten after exercise - more important with RSD than with non-RSD people) . I am sensitive to heat rather than cold but the pool is 82 degrees and only coolish on first entering. There are warmer pools in rehab centers for anyone who cannot stand 82 degrees. The benefits of hydrotherapy are well documented and being able to move joints while they are floating reduces stress and gradually builds muscle, keeps the blood circulating - a major consideration with RSD as blood pools - and in my case it cools the burning knee so that my pain is reduced for up to 2 hours after. I am still on meds but far less than I would have to be if I did not go to the pool. Also it keeps my heart and lungs healthy which is a real consideration when you are 60 and it keeps the weight down. Start early, start slowly and keep a regulalr schedule and perhaps if you catch it early, your symptoms will not spread or become really bad. I have had two blocks but the second did not work and I am still scheduled to go to an RSD pain clinic once the accident is settled ( probably won't help the pain much because 4 years has gone by but they may change my meds and do other things.) Anyway I can live with this for now. I can tell how much good the pool does me because when I get a cold or go away and don't get to for 5 days, I am stiff, sore and feel like my knee is on fire and it spreads to my other knee. Hope this helps and some people try this method of controlling their pain. May not be for everyone but it sure works for me.
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