While flipping through my notes, I recently ran across a couple catchphrases so many of us in physical therapy know: “Motion is the Lotion” and “Use it or Lose it.” But, what do you do if you are someone that hurts to move let alone exercise?
I see patients in our Aquatic Therapy program 2 – 3 times a week. Today, I met a person that I’ll refer to as“Charlie.” He was telling me it “All fell apart at age 55.” Before that, he hiked the Allegheny Mountains, hunted deer and turkey, and was 60 pounds lighter. Today, at age 62, everything he does hurts and he spends most of his time in pain at home. What?!
For Charlie and many others in persistent pain, pain free movement can begin in the pool. Charlie reports he feels relief for the first time in a long time while in the water. But why is this?
Water has several properties that allows for improved movement. The three primary properties of water are buoyancy, hydrostatic pressure, and viscosity. Buoyancy allows a person to feel weightless and relieves stresses on muscles, joints and the body. This, in turn, allows for relaxation, increased range of motion and improved coordination. Hydrostatic pressure improves blood circulation and reduces swelling, reducing inflammation and pain. The viscosity of the water provides added resistance which helps increase muscle strength.
Charlie will soon be able to move without pain, become stronger, and eventually everyday movement will not hurt. If exercising hurts, get in the water and give yourself 6 – 12 months to build up your strength and endurance. You, too, will soon begin to feel well again!
About Dr. Genevieve Griffin & Loudoun Physical Therapy
Genevieve is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, Board Certified orthopedic clinical specialist, Guild Certified Feldenkrais practitioner and CEO/owner of Loudoun Physical Therapy.
Loudoun Physical Therapy is an outpatient orthopedic physical therapy clinic dedicated to providing the highest quality orthopedic rehabilitative treatment. We specialize in one-on-one treatment, manual physical therapy and sports medicine for all age groups using state-of-the-art equipment, programs and services. Recognized as “Best of Loudoun”, “OpenCare Patient Choice Winner”, “Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce’s Business of the Year,” and “Service Business of the Year”, Loudoun Physical Therapy remains committed to providing up-to-date therapies to restore fitness and wellness in our clients. Learn More
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