Three Ways Water Eases Osteoarthritis
According to the CDC, 13.9% of American adults suffer from osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis includes a degenerative breakdown of tissues that eventually causes joint pain. Although there is no cure for the disease, there are many ways to relieve the symptoms, including aquatic therapy. The soothing properties of water, combined with the buoyancy, allow for greater freedom of movement, which can help to improve mobility on land and reduce weight, which is often helpful in relieving symptoms. Three of the benefits that have been studied include:
- Improved physical health and abilities: Patients will notice improved balance and flexibility, as water therapy encourages the correct posture and range of motion.
- Decreased arthritis–related joint pain: The warm water improves blood circulation and has a soothing effect on painful joints.
- Improved quality of sleep: Patients can enjoy peaceful sleep, as aquatic therapy reduces joint pain.
We have summarized some of the findings of multiple research studies in this infographic below.
As we mentioned on the blog last week, more research has recently come out touting the benefits of high-intensity interval training using an underwater treadmill for osteoarthritis patients.
Frequently Asked Questions About Water and Osteoarthritis
From the statistics in the infographic, you can see the significant benefits of aquatic therapy for osteoarthritis. Here are a few frequently asked questions to help clinicians and physical therapists understand aquatic therapy better:
What Types of Exercise Should Patients Do?
Simple “walking” strides are enough to produce great results. However, patients will benefit the most from full heel-to-toe walks, as these motions encourage proper posture, blood circulation and muscle movements. Achieving these in a regular pool may be challenging, so HydroWorx pools come with built-in underwater treadmills and resistance jets. These features allow patients to carry out the proper motions while maintaining their balance.
What Is the Ideal Water Temperature for Osteoarthritis Treatment?
Warm water at about 92 to 98 degrees Fahrenheit provides more relief for patients with painful joints. Cooler temperatures are ideal for more intense workouts to prevent the body from overheating. Osteoarthritis patients doing low-intensity exercises should stick to warmer water, as the higher temperatures help soothe joint pain. For that reason, regular pools may not be suitable for treating osteoarthritis. Specialized aquatic therapy pools allow clinicians to control the water temperature for their patients.
Experience Real Results With Aquatic Therapy
HydroWorx has provided high-performance aquatic wellness pools for over 20 years, helping patients cope with chronic pain. We offer various pools that provide easy access without ladders and steps for patients with joint pain. Contact us today for more information on our aquatic wellness pools and how they help those with chronic conditions.