Monday, January 3, 2011

Hydrotherapy and RA

Hot tubs provide some great temporary relief.  Heat helps by bringing natural pain relief to a sore joint by increasing circulation, so the fluid from a swollen joint can be removed by the blood stream and filtered out by the kidneys. Hot water can also improve flexibility, balance and range of motion. The jets can promote healing of damaged muscle tissue too.  Some doctors prescribe certain exercises that can be performed in a hot tub to relax muscles and ease tension. This is similar to the hydrotherapy that patients involved in physical therapy perform. Motion in the hot water and near jets can help where regular exercises produce no results. This type of therapy is not new, ancient cultures such as Greece, Rome, Japan and China have practiced hot water therapy for centuries.
If you have access to a hot tub then you know first hand how exposing painful joints to warm soothing water for 20 minutes at night and/or in the morning can make a big difference in how you sleep and with your joint mobility during the day. I have both RA and OA, for me, after a 20 minute soak at 103 degrees, I am more relaxed at night. Not only do I feel a reduced pain level, I sleep better allowing my body to rejuvenate sore and painful joints better. In the morning, a 20 minute soak helps get relief needed to get my joints moving for the day. I have used one for six years now and while it is not a long lasting relief, it is relief. 
Pro's
• Relieves arthritis pain and stiffness
• Buoyancy in the water relieves stress on joints 
• Easy to take care of if you stay on top of chemicals
• Increased Home Value

Con's
• Bacteria in hot tub if you don't take care of it
• Cover can sometimes be hard to handle by yourself, especially if it is windy
• Cost

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6 comments:

Lana said...

Great review and Interesting! But you are making me jealous!!! I had no room or money for a hot tub. :-( Is yours outside? How do you use it then even if it is 103 degrees and 40 degrees outside? Burr! Post this Arthritis Connect if you want.

tharr said...

Thanks Lana, we have ours outside the master bedroom, through the french doors, on the patio. The heat rises up from the water and keeps your neck and face warm, I even get in it when it is 25 degrees outside.

andrew said...

Nice post. My hot tub and I are good friends...no more than good, great! I've gotten to the point where I can tell the chemicals in the water just by sight and smell. Just an 20 year old fiberglass tub in the ground but do the joints love it.

Hope you're doing well and avoiding tornadoes.

Andrew

tharr said...

Hey Andrew, great to hear from you buddy. I know, I guess I could make it without a hot tub now, but I sure wouldn't want to after having used one for 6 years. I can do the same thing, pull the cover back and you know instantly if its low on chemicals or not.

We're just fine, winter tornadoes aren't common place here, but often times much more violent.

Anonymous said...

Hey Terry
A few posts back you said that you couldn't handle all the snow (8 inches today), but we don't have tornados here and I am glad. I did aqua therapy at 91 deg and did exercises in the pool with great relief for muscle spasams due to pinched nerves in my neck. The expense is what holds me back at this point plus the fact that it is in the teens outside on the deck this time of year with single digits not unusual. I do find that I like to be in long underwear with extra turtle necks over my tiger balm ultra when I am outside or even inside. I prefer warmth these days.
Stay well.
Phil _ Syracuse

tharr said...

Hey Phil, good point. I guess it's all in what you get used to. They have some aqua therapy classes at the gym, but I've never been to one yet. One of the girls that works at the gym told me it was a bunch of cranky old women so I've not had the guts to go yet, still thinking about it though. Warm is your friend with this disease, I rode back in November when it was 60, but we rode in rain and got wet. My hands and feet were hurting so bad by the time we got back. It took 2 or 3 days to recover from it. Of course wet at 60 mph will cool you off, even if your healthy.