Swimming-water therapy for multiple sclerosis

Swimming-water therapy for multiple sclerosis

I’ve have a MS fitness trainer that I’ve been working with for about a year and a half now. She would come to the house and get my body to move in ways I personally wouldn’t willing force my body to do. It was hard. She saw where my body was weak and would attack my body in exercises, from different vantage points, to try to manipulate the muscles to do certain movements. When I moved to my new condo, all her training was done in the pool. She was the one who forced me to take a few strokes after every workout. I still remember the first time she tried to get me to swim, I think I barely made it to the other side of the pool on the short side. This was back in January. The other day I did 50 laps of the long side.

Since I’m always in the pool with her, she hasn’t seen me do much outside of the pool. The other day, at my MS support group, she was actually teaching a little class. When I walked in, it was the first time she saw me walking since January. I always take my scooter down to the pool. She couldn’t believe the difference. She had to call me to tell me she didn’t even want to teach the kids class she wanted to sit down and talk to me. My back was straight I wasn’t hunched over at all. Yes, my feet were still shuffling along and my pace is still very slow but my body it’s self is stronger and straighter. She just couldn’t believe what the difference was in four or five months.

The buoyancy in the pool allows my body to do things that it can never do outside the pool. What’s happening, is it’s helping me when I get out of the pool. My body remembers, the muscles remember, even though they really can’t do it. However, because they’re doing it in the water, they’re sort of doing it outside the water. When I swim now, my body is completely straight, I’m kicking my legs, I’m holding my breath, and I’m doing full strokes. Full strokes with both arms without muscle fatigue. Actually it’s almost the opposite, the more I do, the more I can do.

I have to say lately I’ve been feeling pretty good. I still have issues with my walking that has not gone anywhere, but I feel good. I really enjoy swimming and I’m in the pool as much as I can be. This week I was in the pool five days. In all honesty, the biggest problem that for me with the pool is when I get out. The shower after and then dealing with my hair present the biggest problems. I’ve just been letting my hair dry naturally now knowing I’m gonna just be back in the pool the next day. Not my most stylish look but I’m trying not to destroy my hair straightening it or ruining my color.

The benefits I’ve had from being in the pool are amazing. Where I always thought the best thing about my condo was at the view, I think everybody would agree now it’s the pool. Even more of a benefit is it’s used year round because it’s indoor and outdoor. There are many programs that offer water therapy. I hope that people can take advantage of this and benefit as much as I have.

14 thoughts on “Swimming-water therapy for multiple sclerosis

  1. Oh my goodness, this was such a good read Jamie! Swimming is the one thing that I really thought that I couldn’t do because of my weak left leg, but you have really given me hope! Did your limbs feel heavy when you first went into the water? xx

    1. No I always did better in the water but I never knew I could swim. It took some time but the muscles remember. Now it’s like I’ve been swimming forever. Crazy and exciting. It isn’t even totally shattering me. I’m exhausted but not fatigued.

  2. For some reason your posts aren’t coming up on my feed! 🙁
    But I find being in the water great too. I can’t swim but I do exercise and yoga classes in the water and it helps so much. 🙂 I am taking swimming lessons so might get there one day… 🙂 xxx

    1. If it wasn’t for the shower and dealing with my hair, I’d be there everyday. I do water exercise too. My joke is I’d have no issues with MS if I could live in the water. Just hate the bathing suits lol

  3. Thanks for this blog. When I was first diagnosed with MS, I had hydrotherapy which I hated because I was scared of water! However, I then got some swimming lessons to overcome my fear and, 2 years later, I now LOVE it. It is so lovely and soothing to float in the water without pain and move with ease. I could happily stay in the pool all day too! 😉

  4. Thanks I want to swim again so I just joined a recreation center , I’ve heardso much about the swimming effects it has, so I m going to be a swim rat too!

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