What Is Hydrotherapy And How Is It Used To Treat Pain Associated With Osteoarthritis
Dr. Low Dog answers the question: ‘Hydrotherapy For Osteoarthritis Pain?’
Hydrotherapy For Osteoarthritis Pain?
— Question: What is hydrotherapy and how is it used to treat pain associated with osteoarthritis?
Answer:Hydrotherapy is a very old therapy for people suffering from all kinds of joint aches and pains. And you know this goes back in history to the old you know mineral baths and the old hot springs where people would go and soak. And so people have known for a long time that soaking in water can be very therapeutic. And so for many people at home, you know, being able to soak in hot tubs can be helpful for pain.
Contrary, for people with rheumatoid arthritis, where there’s more inflammation and swelling, actually hydrotherapy can make that worse. So you got to kind of remember osteoarthritis, soaking in hot tubs can be very very helpful, people with rheumatoid arthritis, it can actually kind of be an aggravating kind of therapy.
Heat Treatment Vs Cold Treatment For Arthirtis
According to arthritis-health.com, heat and cold therapy are both used to treat arthritic joints. Many people will alternate between treatments depending on what their immediate situation calls for.
For example, heat is used to relax muscles, lubricate the joints and generally can be applied before physical activities to get rid of stiffness.
Cold therapy is applied to reduce inflammation, swelling and pain. Ice packs and cold pools are solutions if youre joints are inflamed.
Hot Tub Hydrotherapy For Arthritis
More than 10 million people have arthritis or similar conditions that affect the joints in the UK today.
Soaking in a hot tub can provide arthritis sufferers with much-needed relief from muscle tension, stiff joints, and even severe pain.
If you or a loved one suffers with joint swelling and pain of any kind not just osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis then a daily soak in a home spa could be just what the doctor ordered.
Heres a quick rundown of the many benefits hot tubs can bring to those unfortunate enough to suffer from arthritis.
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Risks Of Using A Hot Tub For Arthritis
Using a hot tub is not just for anyone. Those with heart disease or any heart-related issues should refrain from using the hot tub. The increase in heart rate from a rise in internal temperature may cause complications.
Pregnant women are also cautioned against using hot tubs for more than 10 min. Even when doing so its recommended that the water temperature be reduced to a moderate range of approximately 38°C.
Just like any injury that causes inflammation, its important to recognize when to apply heat and when to apply cold. Make sure youre using heat for the right reasons to avoid aggravating the inflammation youre experiencing in your joints.
Relaxation And Relief Awaits
Today, Jacuzzi® Brand hydromassage combines the buoyancy of water to reduce joint pressure, warmth to ease pain and Aqualibrium®the perfect mix of air and waterto deliver a jetted massage that increases circulation and targets discomfort. This mix makes a Jacuzzi® hot tub the ideal place for those with arthritis to not only relax, but also exercise without pain and increased mobility.
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How Can My Hot Tub Help Ease Joint Pain
When natural remedies were the only available options, warm-water immersion was the best solution for muscle and joint pain. Many hundreds of years later, its still considered a very effective treatment for a wide range of musculoskeletal issues and a hot tub is one of the most convenient ways to get it.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, Regular sessions in your hot tub keep joints moving. It restores and preserves strength and flexibility and also protects your joints from further damage.
Tips For Arthritis Massage
Before seeking massage for arthritis, consult your doctor to ensure that this type of therapy is safe for you. With his or her approval, you can enjoy natural relief from the aches, pains, and stress of arthritis.
To reduce arthritis symptoms, a moderate-pressure massage is best5. Light pressure can be stimulating rather than relaxing, and strong pressure may be painful on already-sensitive tissues and joints. Talk to your massage therapist to adjust the pressure so you get the most out of the treatment.
In addition, consider climbing into a Jacuzzi® Hot Tub for a soothing hydromassage. Adjust the intensity of the PowerPro® jets to suit your sensitive joints and muscles, including hard-to-reach areas such as the neck and back. You can also enjoy a pulsing massage to the small muscles in your hands and wrists.
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How To Use A Hot Tub For Arthritis
If you have been diagnosed with arthritis and you already have a hot tub, you are in good shape. But its not a good idea to hop in without thought, as you could potentially injure yourself. There are certain ways to use a hot tub to ensure that you experience relief, and they are listed below:
- Set the water to the right temperature. When using a hot tub for arthritis, hotter is definitely not always better. The water should be warm, rather than hot, because if you make the water too hot, you can burn yourself. The water does not have to be hot to be beneficial, either. As a guideline, you can begin your hot tub session at 100 degrees F.
- Sit in the water for a complete session. To reap the benefits of a hot tub session, you need to sit in there long enough. The ideal amount of time to spend in a hot tub is up to a half hour- some only stay in for 10-15 mins. If you do short 5-minute sessions, the heat of the water may not have enough time to penetrate your skin and get to your aching joints and muscles.
- Get moving. Maximize your session by moving your legs and arms. If you have severe arthritis, you have to be extremely careful with this step, as you dont want to cause yourself injury.
Best Hot Tub For Arthritis
There is no one best hot tub for arthritis, as it is all a matter of personal preference. With that said, there are many great features in the Jacuzzi J-425 Hot Tub that make it enjoyable for Arthritis patients.
For starters, it is built with a low-profile design, which makes it very easy to get in and out of. There are also additional non-slip steps for those who need help getting in and out of the hot tub. The patented PowerPro Jets are fully-adjustable, allowing you to optimize your hydromassage for more tender muscles and joints.
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Hydrotherapy Promotes Weight Loss
Reduced activity due to physical pain often leads to weight gain. In turn, more weight adds further stress to sore joints and muscles causing more pain, leading to less activity and possibly more weight gain. To break this vicious cycle, millions of people have turned to hydrotherapy.
When soaking in a hot tub or swim spa, the buoyancy of the human body in water naturally relieves the strain of gravity. For reasons already mentioned, heated water triggers a cascade of beneficial activity in the body. And by mimicking the effects of mild aerobic exercise, hydrotherapy helps obese individuals gently transition into exercise on dry land, without overwhelming their body. As an added benefit, the heat shock proteins mentioned earlier have been linked to improved insulin function, a promising benefit for those with type 2 diabetes.10
Of course, diet plays an important role too. Foods which aggravate arthritis symptoms often promote weight gain as well. So following a healthy diet recommended by your healthcare provider can serve to reduce pain, encourage weight loss, and provide more nutritious energy to engage in physical activity. All the while, regular hot tub use promotes better circulation, lower blood pressure, and a brighter, more refreshed sense of well-being. And a better mood will likely help you avoid unhealthy ‘comfort foods.’11
Tips For Safe Use Of Hot Tubs For Arthritis
Hot tubs have the potential to be dangerous, especially when they are used by someone who suffers from arthritis. So, its important to know how to safely use a hot tub. Use the following list for tips:
- Be careful. Being that people who have arthritis deal with stiffness and pain, its imperative to take your time when entering and exiting the tub. It takes one slip to end up with a grave injury. If your hot tub does not have a rubber coating at the bottom, consider adding one. You could also place a rubber mat just outside of the tub.
- Sip water as you soak. Whenever you soak in hot water, dehydration is a real risk. So, as you soak, have a cup of water on the side and sip throughout your session. This can easily prevent dehydration.
- Dont let it get too hot. Pay attention to the heat setting on your hot tub. If the temperature of the water goes higher than 104 degrees, you could experience nausea, dizziness, or you could even pass out from heat exhaustion.
- Pay attention to how you feel. If you begin to feel odd, or experience any new symptoms while youre in a hot tub, get out immediately.
- Keep the tub clean. If you dont keep your hot tub clean, bacteria and mold could build up and get into your system. If this happens, you could become very sick.
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The Science Behind Hydrotherapy
Hydrotherapy has its roots back to the time of the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians who believed in the healing power of water. They were ahead of their timesin fact, academic research studies back up these ancient claims.
In 1998, The Journal of Investigative Medicine published a study of aqua-thermal therapy that confirmed the pain-relieving benefits of hot tubs for patients with osteoarthritis, a degenerative arthritis. The study found that the level of inflammatory agents that cause arthritis pain and joint destruction fell after three weeks of portable spa therapy. Additionally, the heat of hydrotherapy promotes blood flow while the jets decrease muscle tension and soothe sore joints.
In a survey conducted about treating arthritis with massages and/or hydrotherapy, one participant responded as follows: Out of all the methods I have used including deep tissue massage, a heating pad around various parts of my body, etc., hot tub therapy works best, hands down. Chronic pain is exhausting. Warm water jets are reviving they provide fast and relaxing arthritis pain relief. Being in massaging hot water is like heaven for my joints. My arthritis is not only in one part of my body, its all over, so being able to submerge my entire body in invigorating hot water is an extremely desirable method of arthritis pain relief for me.
Benefits Of Using A Hot Tub For Arthritis
Hot tubs are ideal for soothing sore fatigued muscles. The raise in internal body temperature opens blood vessels allowing more blood circulation.
Higher internal temperature results in an increased heart rate. This causes reduced blood pressure, which, for a healthy adult can be extremely relaxing. Many people find their hot tub experience one of the best ways to relax and reduce work-related anxiety.
Reducing muscular tension is an excellent way to give overworked joints a break. Often the tissue is damaged within the joints and/or the nerves within the area. Hydrotherapy and heat help to relieve the pressure in those areas.
Many people find the overall effects of using a hot tub to help with arthritis extremely rewarding. Having the comfort and convenience of owning your own home spa means countless nights and days of relaxing therapy.
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Managing Your Arthritis With Aj Spa & Hot Tubs
If youre ready to enjoy all of the benefits hot tub hydrotherapy has to offer, get in touch with us at AJ Spa & Hot Tubs. We can help you find the perfect spa for all of your pain management needs. If you want to learn more about the benefits of regular hot tub use, you can contact us here or drop in at our Patchogue, NY showroom to speak to one of our experts in person. Our staff is always on hand to answer questions or to walk you through the hot tub installation process for your home.
Should You Buy A Hot Tub
If you want to invest in your well-being and home life and have enough in your budget, you should buy a hot tub. In addition to providing a wealth of health benefits, hot tubs can also be a fun way to unwind with your friends or family after a long day.
Bottom line: There are lots of health benefits in having a hot tub at home. You could benefit by having a hot tub if you suffer from pain caused by arthritis or fibromyalgia, have low blood sugar, stress or trouble sleeping.
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Determining The Perfect Hot Tub Temperature
Another thing that historically dries out the skin is hot water. That is why my dermatologist always chastises me to stop taking long, hot showers. But, like with chlorine, there can be some benefit if it isnt too hot. I opt to turn the water down to 99-100 degrees Fahrenheit before I get in.
Usually, hot tubs are set anywhere from 102-105, but the lower temperature is still comfortable without risking too much drying. I also limit myself to 15 to 20 minutes in one sitting. This is just enough time to soften up my scales and gives me the ability to easily remove them after I get out.
For those really thick areas, this helps so I can get any ointments or sprays down to the right levels of my skin.
Combine With Traditional Massage Therapy
Massage is one of the most popular complementary therapies today1. Regular massage of muscles and joints offers a significant boost to the physical and emotional well-being of people living with arthritis. Consider these specific benefits of arthritis massage:
Reduced pain and stiffness. Massage can lower the bodys production of substance P, a neurotransmitter often linked to pain. This decrease in pain can also boost range of motion, helping you participate more fully in the activities you once enjoyed.
More restful sleep. As pain levels decrease, sleep quality increasesand better sleep can also alleviate arthritis pain. Its a virtuous rather than vicious cycle, producing ongoing arthritis relief.
Reduced anxiety and stress. Massage can also reduce anxiety by decreasing production of cortisol, a key stress hormone, and increasing production of serotonin, which can improve mood. Massage treatments can also decrease the production of hormones linked to blood pressure and heart rate, helping you feel calm and relaxed.
Hot Tub Vs Sauna: Detox
From a point of view of detoxing yourself the sauna is the better option than a hot tub for cleansing your skin as sweat passes more easily through hot air than into water, that way taking more of those minute particles of heavy metals away from you.
In fact, both do the same thing, but it is more pronounced with the sauna if that is your aim.
Hot Tubs & Arthritis: Are They Effective For Joint Pain & Stiffness
Skovish Pools & Spas
Hot tubs are good for lots of reasons. They help you to relax and can help you handle stress better. They can also help you recover from injury. They represent a great focal point for romance for you and your partner. They can even help you recharge and prepare for the next day.
But are hot tubs good for osteoarthritis? Are hot tubs good for psoriatic arthritis? Here is some information for you on how hot tubs can work to ease your joint pain.
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Is A Hot Tub Good For Arthritis Pain
One of the things that Ienjoy most about my hot tub is the way that it can really soothe awaymy aches and pains after a long, hard day. After working out at thegym for an hour or two, theres nothing more wonderful than feelingthe warm water helping my sore joints and muscles. While I wasrelaxing in my hot tub a couple of days ago, I wondered whether itwould have the same effect on arthritis pain. After all, arthritis isan incredibly common problem, and finding ways to ease the sufferingis paramount for many people. With this in mind, I decided to do abit of research to answer this question
Is a hot tub good for arthritis pain? Hot tubs can offer a valuable source of relief for arthritis sufferers, easing the soreness in the joints that can be so difficult to cope with. More people are now turning to the comfort that a hot tub can bring rather than relying on pain relief medications which can be addictive and have unwanted side effects.
So, why are hot tubs so useful for reducing the pain associated with arthritis? How can arthritis sufferers maximise the benefits that using a hot tub can bring? I was surprised to discover that there are many health benefits to being in your hot tub and its much more than just bubbling water!
Why Are Hot Tubs SoGood For Arthritis Pain?
How Should I BeginUsing A Hot Tub For Arthritis Pain?
Can A Hot Tub Help Arthritis Sufferers In Any Other Ways?
How Can I Get Maximum Benefit From My Hot Tub?
- Bicycle kicks
- Leg curls
- Leg lifts