A swimming pool used to be a luxury, but not any more. Pools are coming up in bigger towns. Buoyancy makes you lighter so many exercises in pool are not possible outside. Water gives you upthurst, your weight reduces to 9/10. If your weight is 70kgms, in water your legs has to support only 7 kgs. Due to weak legs as in paraplesia or due to painful knees as in arthritis you cannot stand, probably you will able to balance, water will help you to do so.
Water relaxes spastic muscles so you can do exercises in water more easily. Water relieves tension and is of great help for tense patients. If pool water is at 37 degrees centigrade it will relax you better and relieve aches and pains. Weightlessness promotes relaxation.
Tone Up Arms And Shoulders
Stand in water at shoulder level, extend arm on each side, make vigorous circles, 10 forward and ten backwards or more.
Strengthen Hip And Leg Muscles
Stand in shoulder deep water, back facing side of the pool. Hold on to with both hands, float both legs out in front of you. Move legs alternatively keeping the knee straight. Kick on for one minute. Keep same complete sequence while on your front. Do it 2 minutes and go up to 4 minutes or more.
Stand in chest deep water, take a deep breath in, submerge, squat and exhale slowly at bottom. Straighten and regain standing position. Start again. Do it 5 time and go up to 15 or more.
Many more exercises can be devised. You can do exercises like knee raising, lateral bending etc. Don’t forget swimming is the best. Breast strokes are most effective.
Peripheral Vascular Disease
The patient after walking for a few minutes gets acute pain in the calf muscles and is relieved by rest for a few minutes. This is due to the narrowing of blood vessels. The blood supply has to increase during walking. Blood demand increases when the patient walks and if due to narrowing of the blood vessels the supply of blood does not increase an ischaemic condition is reached. The patient get acute pain.
These patients should stop smoking, as cigarette smoking is known to have detrimental effect in such patients. They are instructed to take a brisk walk of one hour every day. They are allowed to rest for a few minutes when the pain recurs and then resume brisk walk again. In a study it was found that the walking ability gradually increased on an average three times, whereas a patient treated by drugs, and no exercises, does not show any improvement.
Patients with arterio sclerotic obliterance symptoms who are confined to bed or chair must exercise through progressive restrictive movements performed with the help of a therapist or a member of the family. Age is no bar for doing exercise. A 67 year old man with intermittent claudicating could walk only 5 blocks. Through walking exercise he was cured at the ripe age of 71.