Water-based physical therapy
In the past I’ve been encouraged to do aqua aerobics or even to just go walk in a pool regularly to help improve problems in my hips. In the past I have done just that and found it very beneficial.
So when Nurse Practitioner Tim referred me for water-based physical therapy at Huntsville Pool & Land Therapy I was eager to get started. Of course, like getting in with any good physical therapist around here it takes a little time.
I’d heard good things about Ande from my friends who had used her so I was not surprised when I met her and found her both a good listener and very knowledgeable. We spent a good bit of time going over my various injuries/issues/pains, etc.
Oddly enough my first day in physical therapy was one of my better pain days, and also a day with a larger range of motion than most (especially in my neck).
In talking about different aches and pains I experience she was able to point out to me which ones are not related to the Fibro, but simply other issues that I carry around with me, whether from long ago car accidents, my TMJ, or something else.
After spending a good bit of time having her assess me, we got in the pool and she started working.
When they say they have a Warm Water Pool…. they are understating. Getting in that pool is almost like getting in a hot tub or a hot bath. I thought the pool at UAH was warm, but it’s nothing compared to this one.
What we discovered once we were in the pool and she attempted to manipulate my body is that I’m wound pretty tight all the way through.
I think part of it is the bad experiences I’ve had the last couple of times I’ve attempted physical therapy with therapists that insist on pushing too hard or continuing to do things that are making my pain worse despite what I tell them.
I’d just gotten to the point with ONE of the therapists at the last place (out of 5 that I ended up seeing there, which was part of the problem) on my last round where I could totally relax and let her do her thing without being worried she’d hurt me.
Unfortunately, all of her co-workers had and that made the whole job much more difficult.
As Ande attempted to move me around in the water (using a technique called Watsu), she would tell me to relax. The idea was for me to just let go and let her move my body but I wasn’t having any of that.
It wasn’t a conscious effort on my part but it was like she’d grab my arm or hand and go to move it and it would stay until a second or two later my brain would kick in that she was trying to move it so I’d move it for her.
I knew what my body was doing but I couldn’t figure out how to relax it to the point where she could just do her thing.
Evidently, I have a big issue with just relaxing. I’m sure in time my body will come to understand (as my brain does) that I can trust her and that she’s not going to do with the past physical therapists have done. I know this from talking with her enough to be able to understand that she knows what they did and that that’s not the way she works.
I think I might need to start researching relaxation techniques. I’m pretty sure things aren’t going to get better when the braces go on in 2 weeks, but if I can find a way to better relax my own body it will keep the braces from making things as bad as they could.