WATER THERAPY: In at the deep end…

WATER THERAPY: In at the deep end…

In January of this year, I went to see the doctor because of almost unbearable pain in both legs, writes Carolyn Emmett. I was diagnosed with not only osteoarthritis but also osteoporosis.

The nurse recommended that I join the physio and water therapy class at the Ronda indoor swimming pool. This class had been designed specifically for people with back, hip and leg problems. It took place for one hour, three times a week, and cost only 35€ a month.

We had an excellent physio class with Cristóbal for the first half hour, balancing on Pilates balls and using yoga stretching techniques, then moved to the pool for the next half an hour, where we could use belt-floats, flippers, pool noodles and other swimming aids, depending on our abilities in deep 31°C water.

I went every week for nearly two months, within which time I lost nine kilograms and could walk without a stick for the first time in five years.

And then came lockdown!

After three months of sitting around watching Netflix, drinking wine from noon onwards and eating too many carbohydrates, the weight came back … and so did the pain.

In the middle of October, Cristóbal got in touch to let me know that classes would start up again – but with very stringent rules. Only five people to a change room, bring your own yoga mat, and when you go to the pool area, take a plastic bag that contained your towel, and into which you must put your mask when you arrive poolside.

After the first session, where there were five of us (two men and three women), Cristóbal told us that the class time would have to change to an hour later – which was no problem for me.

When I arrived at 1.00 p.m. on the Wednesday, there was no-one else in sight in the change room nor in the exercise room. Apparently the other ‘students’ could not make the new time. I had an hour of one-on-one physio- and water-therapy. Because of this I was able to persuade husband Kevin (who has gonarthrosis of the knee, which is a very painful condition due to lack of cartilage) to join me for the Friday session. Cristóbal immediately recognised that Kevin could not do the floor exercises, and took him to the shallow pool to do some stretching exercises underwater. He even got Kevin into the big pool, which amazed me, as he doesn’t like deep water. Even more amazing is that Kevin enjoyed the session so much, and received so much benefit from it, that he’s agreed to join me at all future water therapy sessions.


Carolyn Emmett

About Carolyn Emmett

Carolyn Emmett and husband Kevin live in Montejaque in the Serrania de Ronda. They have had an exciting expatriate life, having lived in Canada, Indonesia, Botswana and South Africa before retiring to Montejaque in 2011. In 2013 Carolyn designed and produced The Cookbook and Village Guide (El Libro de Cocina y Guia del Pueblo), a bilingual recipe book that includes recipes from the locals, bars and restaurants and other extranjeros. All proceeds from the cookbook are earmarked for a social project in the village.