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Water therapy: Low impact on joints, high impact on quality of life
The soothing temperature and buoyancy of warm water in a pool makes it a safe, ideal environment for relieving arthritis pain and stiffness while improving the range of motion of joints affected by arthritis.About 46 million Americans have been diagnosed with a form of arthritis or a related condition. That’s nearly 1 out of every 3 people. Although there are more than 100 different types of arthritis, most forms are characterized by pain, stiffness and swelling of the joints that can lead to loss of joint motion or function. With proper diagnosis and treatment, however, arthritis symptoms can be controlled, joint damage can be limited or prevented, and joint motion and flexibility can be improved.
Pain in your joints may make you want to avoid activities because of a possible increase in pain. However, limiting the use of your joints will cause your muscles to weaken and your joints and muscles to lose flexibility. The lack of activity can also shorten and tighten muscles, causing you to feel more pain and stiffness and preventing you from doing the things you want to do.
Regular exercise helps keep joints moving, which reduces joint pain and restores and preserves your strength and flexibility. Exercise can also improve your coordination and endurance and your ability to perform daily tasks such as walking or climbing stairs. It also increases energy, reduces fatigue and improves sleep.
Why water exercise?
The soothing temperature and buoyancy of warm water in a pool makes it a safe, ideal environment for relieving arthritis pain and stiffness while improving the range of motion of joints affected by arthritis.
Exercising in warm water raises your body temperature, causing blood vessels to dilate and increase circulation of blood in your body. Water exercise is a gentle way to train joints and muscles and provides a mild resistance to help build strength.
Where can I do water exercise?
One option you should consider is the Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Group Program offered at T.J. Samson Rehab and Sports Medicine at 105 Myrtle St. in Glasgow.
Aquatic therapy may also be recommended by your physician, requiring a referral to a physical therapist for an individualized program.
Visit www.arthritis.org or call T.J. Samson Rehab and Sports Medicine at 270-651-4807.