Can Hydrotherapy Help with Arthritis?
Relaxing in a hot tub has been scientifically proved to relieve arthritic joint pain. In study after study, hot water therapy has been proven to be an effective arthritis treatment. In fact, it’s recommended by both Arthritis Research UK & the Arthritis Foundation.
In the UK, more than 10 million people, of all ages, including children, have arthritis or other similar conditions that effect the joints.
Versus Arthritis confirms that scientific studies have shown that hydrotherapy can improve strength and general fitness in people with various types of arthritis. The exercises can be tailored to your individual needs, so you can start to slowly and gradually build up your strength and flexibility.
Hydrotherapy is beneficial regardless of how many of your joints are affected. It’s sometimes used if you’ve had joint replacement surgery or if you have back pain, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and osteoarthritis, but it can be other types of arthritis if you’d like to try it.
The most commonly affected joints are those in the:
How Does Hydrotherapy help?
Hydrotherapy can help you in a number of different ways:
• The warmth of the water allows your muscles relax and eases the pain in your joints, helping you to exercise.
• The water supports your weight, which helps to relieve pain and increase the range of movement of your joints. The water can be used to provide resistance to moving your joints. By pushing your arms and legs against the water, you can also improve your muscle strength.
How effective is hydrotherapy?
Scientific studies have shown that hydrotherapy can improve strength and general fitness in people with various types of arthritis. The exercises can be tailored to your individual needs, so you can start to slowly and gradually build up your strength and flexibility.
The extra support that the water provides may make you feel like you can do more exercise than normal, so be careful not to overdo it. The exercise and the warmth of the water may make you feel tired after treatment, but this is quite normal. In general, hydrotherapy is one of the safest treatments for arthritis and back pain. Studies have shown that there can be pain relief for up to 25% for arthritis and a decrease of inflammation by 20%.
Can Exercise in the Spa help? “Starting with exercise in the water can help you progress as water provides warmth and buoyancy which can facilitate exercising your joints without increasing your joint pain and stiffness. Exercises can include marching on the spot, kicking your legs, straight leg raises, and water aerobics.”
Can Exercise in the Spa help?
“Arthritis symptoms can vary significantly from person to person, so it is important to find the right level of exercise for you. This level is also known as your baseline. It is important to avoid flaring up your pain, not just because of the potential damage that could cause, but to ensure you continue to progress rather than regress.”
“Starting with exercise in the water can help you progress as water provides warmth and buoyancy which can facilitate exercising your joints without increasing your joint pain and stiffness. Exercises can include marching on the spot, kicking your legs, straight leg raises, and water aerobics.”
Should you exercise in hot tub to relive arthritis pain?
Because movement can be painful and, in some cases, unbearable, exercise can be challenging.
This is where hydrotherapy and a hot tub or swim spa can help.
There are many health benefits from hot tubs, and they are widely prescribed for the treatment of arthritis and osteoporosis and are supported both anecdotally and scientifically. Although the actual way in which hydrotherapy alleviates pain is not known, its use as a treatment for these conditions has been widely recognised. Hot tub therapy for arthritis helps to boost movement and reduce pain in various ways:
1. The warm water relaxes the muscles, easing pressure on the joints and reducing the pain of movement.
2. The water supports your weight, helping to extend the range of movement
3. Water provides resistance for exercise, which can boost muscle strength
4. The hydro jets massage the muscles, increasing flexibility.
In a hot tub, the warm water stimulates blood flow which heats up the muscles. And with your joints supported, it’s the perfect place to do some stretching to help with flexibility and muscle strength. Even if you have limited movement, you can make use of the hot tub jets to stimulate your muscles without any effort. It is important, however, to take basic precautions when using a hot tub for any form of exercise so as to prevent overheating or becoming dehydrated.
Be sure to drink plenty of water before you enter the tub, even if you don’t feel particularly thirsty. It is really important that you remain hydrated throughout your hydrotherapy session too, always keeping a bottle of water at hand. The best hot tub exercises for arthritis are gentle, making full use of the water to support the joints and use the resistance to build muscle strength. Keeping hands open and feet turned out will help increase the resistance. doing this every day in a controlled way can help ease the pain associated with arthritis over time.