Ataxia UK
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Swimming

I have thought about going swimming but I am afraid that I won't be able to cope with the movement of the water with my cerebellar ataxia. Is swimming a bad idea ? and has anyone got experience or advice ?

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I swim at least once a week and I find it therapeutic and relaxing. I don't have problems with the movement of the water at all. The only slight problem that I have is walking on the wet surface from changing room to poolside. Needless to say I take this slowly and steadily and I am always fine.

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Thanks for that. I didn't think about the walking back to the changing rooms. I think, for me, that is an accident waiting to happen. Might try with someone to help me.

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You can also get non slip swim socks that help prevent slipping on the pool side.

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swimming is really good for us. I take my cane right to the edge of the pool side. Slippery floor is difficult. You can also ask to borrow any flotation devises too. Last time I asked they said no as the school was using them. Then the life guard saw my cane at the edge of the pool and went and got me one. I like to swim just using my legs and then just using my arms, otherwise I find that my arms to all the work as they're much stronger.

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I live near a warm water beach and try to go swimming at least a few times a month. I take my walker and go in chest level. When alone I'll hold the walker and kick my legs. It's a fantastic feeling and great therapy/exercise. If I'm lucky enough to have someone go with me I can have them hold my walker so it doesn't float away and swim freely. Walking on the beach also feels good on my bare feet. If I should fall at least the sand is soft. Getting up is the biggest problem. I should mention my ataxia only effects me from the waist down. I highly recommend swimming/aqua therapy, but it's best to have someone with you.

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Hi my ataxia is from waist down to. Do you have any treatment for it to help.I am under Sheffield specialist. They just gave me baclofen but only take at night to help me sleep. Sue

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Hi Sue. I take 20mg baclofen 3X day to prevent cramping and shaking when upright. I also do leg exercises on my own for about an hour 5x a week. My ataxia has not gotten any worse over the last 3 years. Also the swimming

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thanks.i take 20mg at night but they make no differance in the day other than make me so sleepy.I have had this 2 years.my specialist said he wonders if i have stiff leg persons syndrome & may start me on new drug next month.

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Baclofen only lasts for 4 hours.

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You can also get non slip swim socks that you can swim in.

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I’ve got Freidreiches Ataxia in a Wheelchair so swimming is great.I have same problem with movement of water, but I bought a

Konfidence Jacket (Amazon) or

buy direct from them gives you buoyancy in the water & freedom in the water

Best thing I’ve bought to make things better in the water

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Go swimming. It helps keep you fit and your weightless so can move better.

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If you've thought about it go for it. Although we all share some symptoms everyones Ataxia and how they cope is a personal story. all I can suggest is be guided by your own thoughts as much as by the advice of others however 'objective' they may be. If a cure is found.. great! we are all happy! meanwhile, best to get on with your life and daily grind. In terms of managing what you got, you are in quite a good place to judge whats good for you. Trust your thoughts and instincts! courage!

For me exercise like swimming that doesn't jar my mucles is good xx

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I got a referral from my GP to our local Leisure centre to join in with Aqua aerobics designed for people with movement issues -seated yoga is also beneficial - sociable activity.

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Very spoilt got own pool and swimming great. I used to LOVE water but got scared. I look silly but I have and inflatable collar and 2 noodles and they REALLY help x

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