Avera Medical Minute ASL: Using the pool to rehab from Polio - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Avera Medical Minute ASL: Using the pool to rehab from Polio

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Kathy Griffin works out in the pool with physical therapist Sherry McNulty to help manage her post polio symptoms Kathy Griffin works out in the pool with physical therapist Sherry McNulty to help manage her post polio symptoms

It may look like your average day at the pool, but for Kathy Griffin it's a workout and rehab. When Kathy was just three years old, she was diagnosed with polio.

"My left side is weaker than my right side and especially my legs hurt, my left leg hurt a lot when I was younger, and I limped and I still limp, I still don't have the balance I probably should have." Said Griffin.

Kathy says she enjoyed several pain free years but the symptoms of polio have come back in the form of constant muscle pain and an achy back. So Kathy came here the Avera St. Luke's Therapy Center and was paired with physical therapist Sherry McNulty. Because of her post polio symptoms Kathy couldn't utilize the traditional rehab tools like the treadmill, so Sherry put her in the pool.

"She can exercise easily now, 45 minutes to an hour, where if we exercised her that much on land it would probably over fatigue her and she would not feel as functional afterwards and be less likely to come back and less likely to tolerate it again as well." Said McNulty.

And the results speak for themselves.

"I feel so much better, and I've had a couple times where I haven't felt any pain at all, it's really helped, it stretches those muscles out I think." Said Griffin.

Kathy has graduated to where she can do her rehab workouts on her own schedule. Sherry checks in on her from time to time, to make sure Kathy's pain is being managed and her muscles are getting stronger.

"It looks pretty simple like we're just walking in the pool, but when we're walking in the pool we're thinking about having good posture and that helps build all of our core stabilizers as we walk against the resistance of that water." Said McNulty.

"A lot of them are arm exercises and leg exercises that stretch the muscles out and you use them and in the water there's a lot of things you can do that you can't do on land trust me, there's a big difference!" Said Griffin.

The pool is just one element used by the therapists at the therapy center as the programs are customized for each individual. But with the snowflakes falling outside Kathy says she definitely looks forward to working out in a nice warm pool.

Kathy says she lived with her pain for a long time before finally coming to the therapy center. With her success in the program, she now wishes she would have started sooner.

For more information about the Avera St. Luke's Therapy Center just call 877-AT-AVERA.

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