If you are one of the many millions of people that suffer from rheumatoid arthritis or other rheumatic diseases, you will no doubt be aware of the pain and misery that it can cause you. Hydrotherapy is probably one of the oldest forms of natural medical treatment and involves the use of water for relieving joint pain as well as other diseases.
Throughout the centuries, people have sought this special relief, even soaking in mineral laden hot springs which are seen as the forerunner to the modern hot tub. Doctors have long recommended hydrotherapy as a healthy way of relieving aches and pains in the joints.
Warm hydrotherapy has proven to be very effective for sufferers of arthritis and other joint related illnesses, with regular sessions in a spa or hot tub shown to be great natural pain relievers.
If you are considering hot tub therapy or starting an exercise program, it is advisable to check with your doctor in the first instance. Depending on your situation, your doctor may recommend certain exercises or a regular regimen that may differ from others based on your individual needs. The doctor may also recommend that your daily hot tub sessions be a certain temperature and duration to ensure maximum relief.
An ideal way to start your day is a soak in the hot tub with some gentle water exercise which provides a safe and pleasant way to warm up the joints and increase freedom of movement. It will also loosen up tight muscles from the previous nights rest. A maximum of twenty to thirty minutes in the spa is normally sufficient to get the needed exercises in and loosen up the joints.
When the body cools down towards the end of the day and stiffness and pain starts to return, another half hour session in the hot tub will work wonders. However, instead of exercising, use the jets in the hot tub to passively massage the muscles and relax the body and mind.
Hydro massage uses the jets of the hot tub or spa to passively buffet aching muscles. Even though the origin of the pain is within the joints themselves, it is the muscles attached to those bones and moving the joints that can often set up in spasm. Although not as pronounced as the cramp that some people experience at night in the calf muscle, it is nevertheless the stiff spasm that may cause significant pain to be felt in the joint.
The combined heat and the gentle massage action of the jets in the short session in the hot tub have the effect of relaxing the spasming, stiff muscles. As those muscles relax, pressure on the joint is reduced thus relieving the pain within the elbow, hip, knee or other joints. Massage therapists generally agree that up to 90% of most pain, although originating elsewhere, is actually perceived in the response of the muscle.
Once the muscles are relieved of spasm, gentle water exercise while still in the hot tub can prove very beneficial. The buoyancy of the water itself provides a low impact arena in which to exercise. Blood vessels will expand causing an increase in circulation, which in turn aids in the removal of toxins that have built up causing soreness in the muscles.
This combination of heat, gentle massage and low impact exercises in the hot tub allows the arthritis sufferer to move more freely and with less pain. It will improve the remainder of the day or bring ease for a good nights sleep.