Treating Arthritis with Hydrotherapy
The joints have the tendency to swell and stiffen with heavy to moderate exertion as we get older. One in six Americans has some form of arthritis.
The use of heat is recommended for many people suffering from arthritis and hydro therapy is a great way to distribute and deliver heat to many parts of the body. The buoyancy of water reduces body weight by approximately 85%-90% and is what provides the relaxing feeling of weightlessness. Many doctors advise people with sore joints to soak in warm water in the morning before starting their daily activities.
Osteo arthritis patients usually get better results with moist, warm treatments as opposed to dry applications, like electric heating pads. Exercising, wading or swimming in a pool heated to 33c° degrees is also very effective when the affected part of the body is immersed in the water.
Alternating cold and hot baths are good for treating hands and feet. The alternating hot and cold stimulates circulation by causing blood vessels to dilate, which is beneficial for arthritic joints and aching feet. The application of heat eases muscle tension, is soothing and relieves pain.