Got Water?

Aug 10, 2015
Tagged with: Got Water?

August is Spinal Muscle Atrophy (SMA) awareness month.  SMA is an autosomal (chromosome) recessive disease caused by a mutation in the gene which encodes proteins that is responsible for the survival of motor neurons.   There are 7 documented types of SMA.  They are distinguished by the pattern of features.  They have a common feature of progressive muscle wasting and mobility impairment. SMA affects 1 in 10,000 and about 1 in 50 are carriers.

Exercise and nutrition is crucial at any age of development with those diagnosed with SMA.  However, both can be very hard to accomplish.  Exercise can be difficult due to the fact that you are working against gravity.  Dealing with limited mobility there seems to be a struggle to move and can become frustrating.  Got water? Get into water is my advice to you.  Aquatic exercise acts with many properties. In the water, the body responds immediately with the following:


~ Hydrostatic Pressure – compresses the body in water, at a depth waist

deep or just below the chest. This pressure encourages a tactile input.

This tactile input can enhance the reaction time of stimuli for the nervous


~ Buoyancy forces gravity weight – typically when a muscle group is weak

or flaccid in water the buoyancy response is greater. Decreasing gravity,

it forces the body to re-train the nervous system to determine function.

~ Resistance – the water gives resistance as you move through it.

Movement may be limited on land but in water movement is achieved.

Even the slightest movement becomes big movement in the water. This

movement is translated through the body to build strength and



Nutrition is another factor to consider for optimum health.  Those diagnosed with SMA should have a balanced amount of carbohydrates and protein.  As always, check with you physician on the most accurate measures of each for your body type.  Some studies show the protein levels should be 2 grams per 2 kg. of your body weight.

Author: Windy Wills

  • bobl07

    Another wonderful fact about the benefits of Aquatic activities. Thank you for mentioning the importance of nutrition as part of a healthy active lifestyle.

  • windyh2o

    Thanks Bob. It is amazing how the water helps so many people. Reducing gravity for so many abilities can greatly encourage the body to find another way to move. Keeping the nutrition in check encourages the bodies system to function for the change that is occurring.