Aquatic PT

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Aquatic Therapy
Consult your Physiotherapist for the best program 
for you and your neuromuscular condition. 
Swimming, water play and hydrotherapy is the only recommended exercise for you
Get Wet Regularly
A home pool is ideal. Use daily in the warmer months. Attend heated pools less frequently during cooler months. 

Access to the water may require either: ramp, hoist, wet chair or a pool lift.

Physical and social interactions are enhanced.  
Commence with floating, blowing, diving and learning to swim as soon as possible. 

Swimming widths, flippers, breaststroke and many more tips and adaptations  enable participation as muscles weaken.
Adapt swimming at home and school by trying flippers.

Tiny movements of the flippers enable propulsion many years beyond loss of ambulation. 

Breaststroke arms compensates for weakened shoulder muscles.
Young Child
Most children can be very active in the water. Some suggestions:
Getting wet, however passively,  improves physiology and mood.
  • Floating and log rolls
  • Swimming with flippers and adapted stroke
  • Diving for objects and weights to expand chest muscles
  • Splashing, kicking, throwing
  • Using noodles, kickboards, balls
  • Pulling yourself along a rope
  • Nudging hard boiled therapy egg
  • Blowing and flipping a fried therapy egg
  • General play

Convert an old hydraulic hoist for your home pool.

Enter childrens triathalons by wearing flippers and using your wheelchair for the run and cycle leg.

Shop online at specialty suppliers like Peppertown for weights and equipment.

"Use it or Lose it" doesn't apply to your muscles when routine cell regeneration cannot outpace muscle decay - the key reason for using mobility aids early. 

But water can support you  to experience most exercise benefits without gravity, in a less damaging way, so that muscles can generally work concentrically.

Any activity in water (not too cold, nor above 34°C) is beneficial.

Swimming and diving  will gradually progress to hydrotherapy and spa therapy 

Denny, B & Posselt H.  Aquatic Physiotherapy. Montrose.
Thompson, Louise (2002) Doug Robins' pool program. Education Qld.

Maintaining healthy weight 
Learning movement skills and coordination
Respiratory health
Bone growth
Mental health
Self esteem and confidence
Muscle strength  (less so for DMD)
Exercise is essential for:
In DMD, the annual decrease in strength is approx 4%.  
50% by 12 yrs.
Strength declines over 3 decades

Social games like: Stick in the Mud, Red Rover and
What’s the time Mr Wolf,  involve multiple kinds of movement 

A home pool attracts friends to play dates.
  • Floating and log rolls - Bicycling - Breast stroke - Snorkle use - Fried egg blowing - Blowing through tubing of various diameters - Passive Snaking through the water - Activities with/without flotation supporting neck or limbs - Passive Stretching regimes - leg/arm weights to stop floating up from spa seats. 
  • A knowledgeable PT should be consulted to help devise an aquatherapy program for you. 
Bicycle legs -  Good for active movement that is stabilized by water.  Take your fins off it's easier! 
Stretching at the end - Carer braces close hip to his trunk,  puts one hand on the opposite hip and one hand on the knee drawn gently towards the midline.  Let him know when you feel the end of the stretch! Swap legs.
Snaking  - Good for gentle extension of trunk side flexors and free extension of the arms.  Carer holds both legs above the ankle and swings wide arcs. What fun! 

Aquatic Therapy by Deborah Robins is licensed  under Creative Commons 
Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. NB. Not to be construed as medical advice.

Flip the poached egg over and over by blowing. Boosts  lung capacity.  No hands!
Nudge a hard boiled plastic egg.
Good for propulsion, arm extension & games.
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