Hydrotherapy & Aquatic Equipment for Arthritis

The must have information about water therapy for the relief of Arthritis symptoms.

Overview of Arthritis

Arthritis is a prevalent condition affecting the joints of the body. One in 6 Australians suffer from Arthritis according to Arthritis Australia. It can cause pain and inflammation within any joint. As the human body has 360 joints, you will understand that the signs and symptoms of Arthritis can strike anywhere and at any time of life. Arthritis may present with:

• Visible swelling around the affected joints

• Internal swelling that is not visible but can be felt

• Sore and stiff joints

• Joints that feel like they take a long time to get going

• Varying levels of pain, from moderate to severe

The condition is commonly understood as a symptom of aging. However, Arthritis can strike at any age. There are so many instances where you can find the signs and eventual diagnosis of Arthritis in even the most active people, including the young.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is clinically recognised as the swelling within a joint within the body that affects the joint's mobility to its full capabilities. The inflammation can be due to joint degeneration, immune system disorders, and even genetics.

Suppose the joint movement is restricted from internal swelling. In that case, there may be a reduced amount of activity in that joint, which can affect the mobility and functions of the joint and cause pain and discomfort for the individual.

There are many forms of Arthritis, and can include:

• Osteoarthritis (the most common form of Arthritis)

• Rheumatoid Arthritis

• Psoriatic Arthritis

• Secondary Arthritis

• Enteropathic Arthritis

Regardless of the route of diagnosis, Arthritis is always the classification of swelling within the body's joints. Still, often, the cause is related to another condition, disease, or external factor, such as injury.

Who's most likely to suffer from Arthritis?

Anyone can suffer from Arthritis at any time of their life; however, certain groups of people will be more predisposed to being diagnosed with Arthritis.

According to Arthritis Australia, there are 4 million people with Arthritis, and it is the second most prevalent cause of early retirement due to ill health.

The people who are affected by Arthritis include:

• People who are over 40

• Women

• People who have a family history

• People with other connected joint conditions

• Those who have suffered joint trauma.

Although we understand Arthritis as simply an age-related degenerative condition, it is actually so much more than that. Medical history over many years has told us that the most common place to find the onset of Arthritis is in females over 40 who have experienced some hormonal changes, either through medication or menopause.

Symptoms of Arthritis

As we have seen, the symptoms of Arthritis can vary significantly from person to person and can also vary from the type of Arthritis they have or the way in which they acquired the condition.

As standard across all patients who have Arthritis will present with swelling within the composition of the joint. Depending on which joint it is, and the severity of that swelling will denote how that particular patient handles the associated symptoms, such as:

• Swelling within the joints

• Mild to severe pain

• Tender joints that hurt  

• Fatigued Joints

• Daily pain

• Joint pain

• Reduced Mobility

• Pain on exertion

• Restricted daily life

• Restricted Joint Movement 

• Joint stiffness 

• Immobilisation of the affected joint 

• Worsening of pain after physical activity  

Many people who suffer from Arthritis may say that they have at least one or more of these symptoms.

Common areas 

Common areas that Arthritis can strike may include, but is not limited to:

• Hips

• Knees

• Fingers and Toes

• Wrists

• Ankles

• Shoulders


Arthritis flare-ups can be the result of:

• Injury

• Over-exertion

• Infection

• Hot and Cold extremes

• Worsening of the condition

Arthritis flare-ups in specific individuals can also be related to stress and emotional responses. Although this has been clinically investigated, it appeared that there had been no direct correlations to distinguish a mood-centered response as a trigger from that of a physical factor.

Water Therapy & Arthritis

Water-based movements and exercise can help people with Arthritis by easing pain and overall joint stiffness. Exercising in the water allows people with Arthritis to move freely and weightlessly in the water and not experience the increasing pain they may encounter when attempting land-based exercises. 

Strength: Water therapy may improve the resilience of particularly affected joints and allow the rest of the body to feel less stress, both mechanically and mentally.  Exercise in any capacity, but especially in water, may help people living with Arthritis feel better within themselves, increase their circulation and potentially reduce inflammation.

Inflamed Joints: Inflamed joints can be excruciating to move when there is no support for them.  Water therapy allows the water to physically encompass and support every joint, which will prevent excessive stress on the affected joints and will help you move around a little easier with support.

Stiffness: Many people who suffer from Arthritis say that stiffness is one of the worst symptoms of the condition and is generally the symptom that affects their ease of mobility first and foremost. Weight-bearing exercises may not be conducive to people who suffer from extreme stiffness in their affected joints, so exercising in water is an excellent form of therapy. The water allows stiff joints and surrounding muscles to relax and release stiffness and movement restrictions. 

Pain: Pain is often one of the most significant symptoms of Arthritis, which can severely affect a person's mobility simply because it hurts, and people who experience extreme pain from Arthritis may psychologically avoid any movement or exercise that hurts them. Exercising in water can reduce pain levels on exertion and allow the body to move freely as there is no direct weight-bearing.

Worsening of pain after physical activity:Performing even the gentlest exercises in the water helps avoid the pain that Arthritis may bring after physical activity.  The water allows people to perform low-impact but high-intensity workouts and is an excellent substitute for those who suffer from Arthritis who suffer from pain after land-based physical activities.   

Water Therapy Equipment & Arthritis

An Aqua Treadmill is an excellent piece of equipment that helps symptoms of Arthritis and enables exercise with minimal pain. It may: 

• Improve the range and frequency of mobility without any harsh impact or increased pain

• Boost heart and lung strength and enhances blood flow via water pressure

• Assist in avoiding after workout and exercise pain

• Relaxes the whole body and mind, which may help with pain management

• The water creates an invisible cushion of protection around joints during exercise

An Aqua Bike is also a great piece of aquatic equipment that can help alleviate the symptoms of Arthritis and enables exercise with minimal pain as it can:  

• Allow exercise and movement to have a reduced pain level

• Improves overall joint mobility

• It helps avoid the pain associated with post-exercise

• Allow more unrestricted joint mobility on mobilizing

• Reduce stiffness within the affected joints

Overall, Arthritis can be a debilitating condition in respect of the pain and discomfort it can cause from the inflammation within the joints. Severe Arthritis can also cause a reduction in mobility and function of the affected joints due to swelling and pain, which can severely affect a person's quality of life. By taking part in water therapy and leveraging pool equipment, any person has the ability to exercise and perform movements while being supported by the water. Water therapy can decrease the stress that is applied to joints during land-based activities and allow more freedom of movement in the affected joints, which helps with increased mobility without extreme pain. Water therapy is essential for holistic health and fitness. Water can increase mobility with reduced pain, decrease stiffness and swelling in the affected joints. Other forms of exercise may not be appropriate or suitable for someone with Arthritis.

Note: Please seek medical advice before exercising & always train under the advice your medical specialist.


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