Have I mentioned how much I love physical therapy? Of course I have! Sure, it is painful, but the therapists are just tremendous, helpful people, and I can feel progress with every visit.
The latest ‘adventure’ was something new — Aqua Therapy. The machine is specifically called the AquaCiser. Get it? Water .. exercise? Moving on ..
It starts with me getting into the box seen in the picture above. As I step in, warm water fills up around me and stops at my shoulders. There are jets with bubbles, just like a hot tub. Simply being in the machine feels great, but it is specifically equipped to help with therapy. There are handles on each side for me to hold onto, and a seat that folds down. The water reduces the weight bearing by about 50%, so it’s perfect to get my body moving when I cannot put much weight down.
They started me slowly during the first session. I stood up and moved my leg around in a circle, giving my hip some mobility, and a few other easy stretches. They then had me lean onto the injured leg, which was my first time really putting straight weight on the injury since surgery. I could feel it, but the pool helped mitigate the soreness. They then put me on a chair for more stretching, including the leg lifts that drive me mad with pain during dry therapy sessions.
Even though they were conservative on the first visit, I finally felt like I had done some exercise. It was nothing compared to what I used to do, and I didn’t break a sweat, but activity is activity, and I’ll take what I can get.
On the second visit they stuck with the stretches, but they decided to let me go a little further. This is the coolest part of the machine.
There is a treadmill at the bottom of the pool. If you look carefully, you can see it on the picture at the very top of this post.
They turned it on very slowly and had me walk gently. Since I haven’t actually walked in three months, and even before then I was on a cane, it was an awkward sensation. I was a bit wobbly. The therapist noticed that my feet were flat, but it was nothing to be concerned about yet. Walking was walking. He turned the treadmill a little faster to a slow walk, which was fast enough that I could at least get my balance while not enough to hurt me.
The day after I will feel sore, but the day after that and I’ll notice a little bit of progress. There is more mobility and less pain. After two sessions, this has already helped me ditch one of my crutches, and I’m hoping the next one will be gone in the next week or two. Since this helps with my mobility, it’ll also help me get back on the bike sooner. And I think that will be sooner rather than later, as they are already beginning to work on strength exercises during my dry therapy sessions.
Progress feels pretty cool. Even though I’m a little behind schedule, I’ve made some major strides these past couple weeks. If that continues, then I could be back by the early summer. Here’s to hoping.