Swimming, as a hobby itself, has many health benefits. However, the use of water as a therapy is even more enjoyable and it particularly helps people with arthritis and other musculoskeletal disorders because the water supports their joints while they are exercising. Some swimming pools reserve special entry times for people with joint problems.
Hydrotherapy is the use of water in the treatment of a range of conditions, including arthritis and other musculoskeletal disorders.
Is swimming different from hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy differs from swimming because it involves special exercises which take place in a warm-water pool, usually within a hospital physiotherapy department. The water temperature is usually 33–37ºC, which is warmer than normal swimming pools. Also, do remember that you do not have to be able to swim to have hydrotherapy. The pool is quite shallow, so you can exercise well within your depth.
Advantages of hydrotherapy in arthritis
Hydrotherapy is one of the safest treatments for arthritis and back pain. Usually people who have arthritis in several joints find most benefit from hydrotherapy. This is because all the joints can be exercised easily in the warm supportive water. Hydrotherapy also helps people who feel pain when walking, since the water provides extra support. Hydrotherapy is sometimes used after joint replacement surgery and for people with back pain or ankylosing spondylitis. The warmth of the water and the exercise may make you feel tired after treatment but this is normal.
You should not use hydrotherapy if:
With certain medical conditions hydrotherapy may not be suitable. These include:
- Wound or skin infections
- Viruses/stomach upset
- A raised temperature
- High or low blood pressure
- Severe breathing difficulties
- People on renal dialysis programs
- Angina/heart problems
- Chest infections
Finally, you should always remember that exercise helps almost all forms of arthritis, so after your course of hydrotherapy you will probably be advised to continue your exercises in your local swimming pool. For maximum and best results, it is best if you combine hydrotherapy with a safe and herbal “anti-arthritis” supplement such as “Provailen” which, being free of any side effects is one of the safest and effective supplements of its kind for the treatment, control and management of almost all kind of arthritis. The best part of Provailen is that it is completely natural (100% herbal) and is reportedly free of any side effects of risk of drug interactions.