Hip and Knee Arthritis, just like any other form of the disease, is extremely painful. Wear and tear on particular joints cause cartilage damage. That cartilage damage becomes inflamed, causing pain and discomfort from those experiencing it.
The two most common types of is Hip and Knee Arthritis. Hip and Knee Arthritis affects people of all ages, and can make regular activities difficult. Walking and exercise is good for the disease and can actually improve pain if done regularly. Although exercise is proven to help pain, many people exercising because of the discomfort it causes.
Aquatic therapy is easily one of the most beneficial exercises for hip and knee arthritis. Using water as a method of therapy is common, but why is it so good for arthritis?
1. Aquatic Therapy eases pain in Joints
The second you step into a therapeutic pool, you will immediately feel the benefits. Aquatic pools are kept at a warm temperature, usually in the 80 degree range. As you may know, heat source is a common way to ease muscle tension. Building off of this, heat also helps ease joint pain. Because heat increases blood flow, circulation increases. As a result, this added circulation helps easy joint pain and stiffness.
2. Low Impact Exercise
Most people experiencing pain from arthritis avoid exercise because it is uncomfortable. In an aquatic environment, gravity is nearly non-existent. Less pressure is put on joints in a pool because the body supports only half of its normal weight. Standing, walking, and exercising with little pressure on arthritis-stricken knees and hips allows more room for movement. Because of the decreased pressure, exercise becomes much easier in the pool.
3. Aquatic Therapy Reduces Swelling in Joints
Have you ever heard of hydrostatic pressure? If you’ve ever dove to the bottom of a pool and experienced popping in your ears, you’ve experienced hydrostatic pressure. Although it’s not great for your ears, this pressure from the water can be used to an arthritis patient’s advantage. This gravitational force presses on limbs, muscles and joints, reducing swelling. The deeper the limb is in the water, the greater that pressure becomes. To ease pain, a physical therapist uses this to reduce swelling in a patients’ affected areas.
Research was performed on 71 subjects with symptomatic hip or knee osteoarthritis. As a result, the subjects reported less pain and joint stiffness and greater physical function, quality of life, and hip muscle strength over the 6-week trial.
Click here to learn more about the benefits of aquatic therapy.
Call Penny in the Lisbon office of ECRC Physical Therapy at 1-860-376-2564 to schedule your appointment for aquatic therapy.