on July 3, 2013 in Health
Over 70 million Americans suffer from some sort of arthritic condition. That amounts to one in three people. The pain caused by arthritis can affect daily routine activities and limit one’s ability to do the things they once loved to do.
Thankfully, there are natural and effective ways to alleviate arthritis pain and improve quality of life. By taking advantage of the age-old ritual of warm water therapy and the proven benefits of aquatic exercise – pain relief could be just a soak away.
When you have arthritis, the pain in your joints may make you want to limit your movements and avoid doing anything that causes more pain. This may feel better in the short term, but this lack of movement will cause you more pain over time.
When you don’t exercise, your joints become more stiff, you lose strength in your muscles, and your range-of-motion decreases, causing you to feel more pain and to be less able to do the things you want to do.
Although it may feel like the last thing you want to do, exercise is one of the most important steps to improving your life with arthritis.
When you incorporate daily exercise into your life, it will not only boost your self-esteem because you will be looking and feeling great, it will give you the ability to do more of the things you love to do. Playing with your grandchildren, going for a walk, or activities like golfing and boating will be easier and less painful when you are stronger and more energized.
You will also have more energy, be able to sleep better at night, and maintain a healthier weight. For these reasons, and many more, exercise is a vital component to any healthy lifestyle; and especially for those who want to improve their lives while living with arthritis pain.
The science behind exercise and arthritis
A case study performed by the Mayo Clinic found that arthritis patients who participated in an exercise regimen noted a 12.8% decrease in pain perception and an 18.2% decrease in difficulty performing daily tasks. The exercise regimen that the group participated in was The National Sleep Foundation’s Aquatic Exercise program, in which the participants used water exercise as their main source of activity.
The main purpose of this particular study was to investigate how water exercise could improve the day-to-day living of individuals living with arthritis and arthritic conditions.
The study concluded that, “[…] both aquatic and on-land exercise protocols effectively increase the quality of life for those suffering from arthritis.”
Benefits of water exercise in a hot tub
Exercising in water is a viable alternative to those who have difficulty with traditional exercise due to limited mobility, and water exercise in a hot tub offers even more therapy benefits.
It can be difficult for those with arthritis to participate in traditional on-land warm ups, which is one of the reasons why a hot tub is a great alternative. It’s important to properly warm up the body before any exercise routine since warm muscles move with greater ease and flexibility – posing less risk for injury. The warmth of the water in a hot tub will warm up the muscles with little to no physical stress and prepare the body for exercise by increasing circulation and elevating heart rate.
The aquatic environment is an ideal place for low-impact exercise. The buoyancy of the water helps support the joints, thus allowing for freer movement and greater range-of-motion. The gentle resistance of the water is ideal for low-impact strength training.
The warm water therapy benefits from a hot tub are also relaxing, therapeutic, and have been used for centuries to treat various health ailments.
Water exercises for arthritis
If exercise has been approved by your doctor as a method to treat your arthritis, there are a variety of water exercises recommended by the Mayo Clinic and other health professionals that are easy to learn and simple to perform.
Most of the exercises involve movements to improve range-of-motion while at the same time strengthening muscle and receiving aerobic benefits.
Here are 3 exercises recommended by the Mayo Clinic to help treat arthritis that you should ask your doctor about:
Range-of-motion exercises. These are daily exercises that help to relieve stiffness in your joints and increase range-of-motion by mimicking the movements you do in daily life.
Strengthening exercises. Strong muscles help support and protect your joints. Exercise bands like those found in the the Aquacisor Hot Tub offer many aquatic strength training options to give you a full body strength training workout.
Aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise is important to your overall health. It will help you maintain a healthier weight, give you more energy and help you sleep better at night. A common hot tub aerobic exercise that is low-impact and easy on your joints is walking in water. The water gives you just enough resistance to get your heart rate up to an aerobic, calorie burning level.
Water exercise at home
If your doctor advises you to participate in aquatic exercise or warm water therapy for your arthritis, you may want to consider investing in a hot tub for your home.
ThermoSpas designed a hot tub in collaboration with the National Arthritis Association that was specifically designed for arthritis sufferers – The Healing Spa. This hot tub addresses all the needs and limitations of arthritis sufferers from the knobs to the specially designed easy-entry system.
Are you ready to enhance your life with the power of warm water therapy? Request your free brochure and DVD today or call us at 1-800-876-0158 to speak with a ThermoSpas representative.
Sign up for E-Mail updates
Subscribe to our RSS feed to receive e-mail updates