Can Hydrotherapy help relieve Arthritis?

December 11, 2009 Spa Doctor No Comments

Arthritis, which most of us understand to be an inflammation of a joint or joints, resulting in pain and swelling, is actually the name for a family of over a hundred separate diseases.  These include: rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, gout and lupus.  By some estimates, one out of every three families has someone who suffers from this condition.

As stated in their article: Arthritis – Spas & Warm Water Exercise published by the Arthritis Foundation,

“people whose arthritis symptoms respond well to heat have discovered the many benefits of heat therapy.”

If you suffer from arthritis, you will need to consult with your doctor on the treatment regimen that is best for you.  This is because there are several safe and effective ways to minimize loss of motion and the associated pain.  Your doctor may recommend exercise, use of warm water and heat, use of cold, or other treatments.  Some may be right for you, and others may not.  That is why it is so important for your doctor to be involved closely in your treatment.

In a home spa, the buoyancy of its warm water hydrotherapy make it a safe, ideal environment for relieving arthritis symptoms including stiffness and the associated pain while improving the range of motion.

Warm water exercise is one method of hydrotherapy which is more gentle to joints and muscles.  This is because the water supports the weight and lessens stress on them to encourage free movement.  It also provides a level of resistance to assist in re-building muscle strength. Using a spa adds a third component to the therapy which is massage. A hot tub’s jets release a mixture of air and warm water, relaxing and massaging your body. The Arthritis Foundation has published articles on the subject of hot tubs, hydrotherapy and exerciseSpeak with your physician and find out if hot water exercise or hydrotherapy is right for you.

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Spa Safety

Accidents can happen in and around your spa. For the most fun and good times, keep these safety tips in mind.

  • Always check spa water temperature before getting in. Temperature should never exceed 104 degrees.
  • Limit time in the spa to no more than 15 minutes before showering and cooling down.
  • Avoid strenuous activity immediately after using the spa.
  • Heat can be dangerous for pregnant women and people with heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes. Check with your doctor first.
  • Do not use the spa if you have been drinking alcohol or taking prescription medicines. Consult your doctor first.
  • Don’t use the spa if you have open wounds or sores.
  • Don’t use radios, hair dryers or other electrical appliances near the spa.
  • Reduce the risk of accident with hand rails and non-slip surfaces.
  • Keep areas around the spa clean and uncluttered