Arthritis and Water Exercise
Arthritis is a general term describing many conditions that cause pain, stiffness and often inflammation in one or more joints. Gentle regular exercise can improve an arthritic joint by nourishing the cartilage and easing stiffness. Warm water exercise is particularly helpful, because your body weight is supported and the resistance of moving through water boosts muscle strength and endurance. Activities such as walking through water can exercise the joints without placing them under strain.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between Swimming and Hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy is special exercises performed in warm water (34°C). It is enjoyable and especially helps people with arthritis because the joints can be exercised while the weight of the limbs are supported by the water.
Hydrotherapy is a safe form of exercise after joint replacement as well as for people with back pain.
What happens on my first visit?
You will be seen by a physiotherapist, who will ask you questions about your general health and assess your physical problems. This initial assessment will take 30-45 minutes. You will not be required to go into the pool on this visit.
Will I required a swimming costume?
You will require either a swimming costume or shorts and T-shirt, your own towel and poolside shoes for your comfort.
What if I can’t swim?
You do NOT have to be able to swim to do hydrotherapy. The pool is purpose built and is quite shallow so you can exercise well within your depth. Buoyancy aids may be used and there will be a physiotherapist in the pool. Even if you have a concern about water, you should try hydrotherapy as almost all people find the warm water very soothing and enjoyable.
How do I get into the pool?
To enter the pool, you need to walk down a few steps holding onto a rail. For people who can not manage steps there is a mechanical hoist that will lower you into the water. There is a rail at the side of the pool for extra support.
Are there any side effects from Hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy is one of the safest treatments for arthritis and back pain sufferers. The warmth of the water and the exercise may make you feel a little tired after your session. THIS IS NORMAL. Water is available pool side should you require a drink during your session. We recommend you drink one cup of water on completion of the class.
When is Hydrotherapy not appropriate?
With some medical conditions hydrotherapy may not be suitable, these include:
- Wound/skin infections
- Unstable blood pressure
- Acute urinary infection
- Viruses/stomach upset
- Chest infections
- Elevated body temperature
You must tell the physiotherapist if you have any of the above conditions or if you feel unwell on the day of your class.
- Patients with Angina NEED their medication poolside
- Patients with Pacemakers NEED consent from their cardiac specialist
- Patients with Asthma NEED their Puffers poolside