Wednesday

Starting hydrotherapy for Fibromyalgia


hydrotherapy for Fibromyalgia
Last week I started hydrotherapy at the local hospital pool. Every doctor I have spoken to and many studies always say it will help reduce Fibromylagia symptoms. It is one of the Top Ten Tips for fibromyalgia.

Hydrotherapy involves the use of water for pain relief and exercise. It takes advantage of the physical properties of water, such as the temperature and the pressure, for therapeutic purposes, to stimulate blood circulation and treat the symptoms of certain diseases, injuries and conditions. 

The hydrotherapy class I attend is a combination of walking in warm water and gentle movements in water such as squats which are much easier to do in water than out of the water and balance exercises. The program is run by a physiotherapist and many of the participants in the class have rheumatoid arthritis.

Studies done at the Universities in Spain and Portugal showed participants doing hydro experienced improvement in their fibromyalgia symptoms including:
(1) mobility
(2) self-care
(3) daily activities
(4) pain and discomfort
(5) anxiety or depression.

So far I have only done 2 sessions, and I know these improvements need to be felt over the long term, but mostly it has all been the opposite to improvement (whatever that word is?)
I have felt less improvement in (1) (2) and (3) and more of (4). The only thing that may have improved is (5) because on one day a week I get out of the house to do something for myself and when in the water I actually feel good and positive. But the night time is when the problems start and the next day and night and then the next day and night too! The pain is so bad that it wakes me at night and I am taking extra painkillers. This is extra pain that I don't usually have. This is not good!

Do you think it will slowly settle down over the weeks and I will get these improvements mentioned in the study? Stay tuned for the next hydrotherapy update.

hydrotherapy using flotation devices


Water Exercises for Fibromyalgia: The Gentle Way to Relax And Reduce Pain

26 comments:

  1. I would hope so. We live 60 miles from the nearest public pool. I know when I do gentle exercises in warm water, I feel better. But I do tend to hurt more for a day or two. Have you tried sitting in the hot tub afterwards?

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    1. No Rebecca but I'll give it a try, maybe with epsom salts. Thanks. Sorry you live so far from a pool so I should count myself lucky, huh?

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  2. Hi Mate... I have been doing aqua aerobics (not full throttle) and have been three times... later that day I am totally wracked with pain - like a really bad day- it screws me up for the night and the next day and night are less bad but still worse than usual. I want to persevere but I'm not sure it is worth it... will there be a long term gain??? I bloody hope so!

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    1. Exact same response as my stupid body!! I was talking to a physio today and she said to ease off alot. When we are in the warm water our joints etc feel good and we overdo it without knowing. She said to build up to doing the full thing like you would with running a marathon, Makesense.

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  3. I have tried this many, many times with the same results as you. But I did it for 6 months before saying enough, this is NOT helping!!!!
    Yes, I tried a soak in a hot tub after. I tried changing my pain meds around. I tried heat and ice after. I stretched before and after.
    Seriously I dreaded going but wanted to give it a good try. The doctors made me feel like it was just me that had this type of response which is why I tried this more than once! Each time it lead to increased dosages of pain meds, anti-inflammatory meds, anti-spasm meds and the list goes on.
    Once upon a time I was ever so active. Still looking for something that helps!
    It's nice to know it's not just me!

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    1. Hi joy, Good to hear from you but sorry you have had no success with Hydrotherapy for for chronic pain either. I am still trying to work out if there are any benefits and trying to go really slowly in the pool and not push myself in anyway. I find this hard as my nature is to try harder and this means i overdo things. This has been the hardest thing for me to learn with Fibro just to pace myself. Good luck to you and thanks for commenting here

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  4. Anonymous10:22 AM

    I was going to try water arobics but from the sounds of it i would be suffering after words. I've tried phy.therpay and about an hour later it feels like I've been hit by a truck. I'm just looking for some relife. I still work and my job is very physical. I just want a break from the pain. Taking all these meds aren't the answer.

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    1. I hear you! Trying to work out what actually helps is difficult. Also what works for you may not work for me. If your work is physical maybe you need to do something that is relaxing for you. I agree meds are not the answer.

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    2. Jacki Womack11:48 AM

      Hi all. I have suffered with Osteoarthritis for 30 yrs now. I found that water work out ARE THE BEST way to get moving, however the pain after isn't good after because the water makes you feel great and you do tend to over workout. I stopped the Water Aerobic classes as they push you too much. I started just walking in the pool from one end to another SLOWLY increasing the laps. I got up to walking 5 miles. That is the key here. To slowly build up. This keeps the after pain minimal when you are on solid ground. Build up one step at a time.

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    3. Anonymous8:31 AM

      Fibromyalgia is a completely different animal. I tried the pool pushed myself to do it I got stronger but so did the pain quit after 8 weeks.

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    4. Jacki, this is such a good idea, just walking. I am going to try it! Yeah, excited to try it. I like the idea of knowing how far you have gone and increasing it too. Thanks

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    5. Thanks for commenting(anonymous) I agree fibro is so different. I did the pool with people who had RA and they were all very happy. I have had to quit on physiotherapists recommendations.

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  5. Anonymous12:33 PM

    I have had what my doctor calls water therapy. It's the same I believe. I was taught different exercises to do in the heated pool. The first time I tried it I was flared up for 2 weeks. It actually took years later when my symptoms eased a bit when I was able to again attend water therapy. Although I was sore, it was more manageable, however I didn't see much improvement, results will vary.

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    1. Thanks for adding your feedback about fibro and hydrotherapy. Hope you are going well.

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  6. Anonymous12:44 PM

    I find that I have a terrible reaction to the pool chemicals. So I can't do hydrotherapy. At home I do a detox soak in the bath, with natural sea salt & baking soda. It helps a lot, I do once a week. Reg size tub, so not great, hoping to get a big soaker tub, jets too would be nice. Decreases muscle pain when done regularly, & drink plenty of water.

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    1. Yes I think I had a mild reaction to the chemicals. Some weeks I would get itchy and others a bit wheezy with the breathing. The bathe sound great but my difficulty is getting in and out. A spa with steps and jets would be amazing!

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  7. Tried it and turned out like everything else I’ve tried failure at its best! I give up on finding relief, I’m having to learn that I will be living with this curse for the rest of my exsistance and it is what it is. Sick of doctors and their lame brain ideas, like can you actually put some thought into these things. Feed up and giving up!!!!!!

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    1. Sorry to hear this Charlotte, everything doesn't work for everyone but sometimes you just gotta try, right?

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  8. Anonymous1:44 PM

    I did it twice a week for 2 weeks before i realized how much it helped. It was a life saver. I was 28 in a class for 70yr olds lolol but it helped and I went for 6 months before I finally just went to the pool for myself and its been almost 3 years and the water really seems to help my symptoms

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    1. That's amazing, so glad it helps you.

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  9. Add a good quality CBD oil to your daily life. I hav an excellent lady that is very knowledgeable an has been helping me a lot w CBD oil. I hav had fybromyalgia for 20 years. I am wrenched w pain daily but CBD seems to take th edge off. You can take it w any meds. I take two handfuls daily w my CBD. No side effects ever. My lady is Gina Epps look her up on Facebook. God Bless!! Kathy Hellerich

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing this. I haven't tried CBD oil yet but keep hearing good things.

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  10. Anonymous4:56 PM

    My first session was just awkward leg kicks and hand weights. Afterward I felt tired but not much else more than the usual. Two days later was my second session. Afterward I felt tired when I drove home. The next day my ribs were killing me and I felt horrible like I do trying to work a full 8 hr shift at walmart as a cashier. I was in bed for 3 days, exhausted and in lots of pain. I missed too many days to go back the next week. Oh well.

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    1. Yes it certainly can hurt if we are using muscles we haven't used for a while. I found I had to pull right back and do so little. It's hard to gauge when you are in the water if you are doing too much or not enough!

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  11. Anonymous7:12 AM

    I have not tried this type of therapy. I found that the physical of my job was enough with the constant walking, getting in and out of a chair, light lifting, etc. Still had bad days, which I took as sick days. When the pain gets unbearable I hot soak in epsom salts for as long as possible and rehydrate with lots of cool water. Sometimes a hot shower just sitting in the steam. I eliminated most of my meds. The side effects were worse than the condition. I am investing in a hot tub for long term too. I can see myself overdoing and hurting big time with hydrotherapy. It sounds like it isn't a good course for fibro. My rheumologist told me to not doing regular machine workouts as I used to, but to do rubber band exercises, which lightly work the muscles. I have had good success with that. Not water related but possibly helpful and something that can be done at home as well. My middle of the night hot soaks in non moving hot water with epsom salts is my go to. Gentle hugs.

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    1. This is some really good advice. I also have started with the rubber bands on the recommendation of the physio - much lighter and no down time after. I think I will take your advice and save up for a hot tub too. (maybe a cooltub!)

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Thanks for your input