Aquatic Exercise and Arthritis
March 13, 2015

According to the CDC over 52 million adults in the United States have been diagnosed by their doctor to have some form of osteoarthritis or OA. Many symptoms accompany OA including stiffness, clicking and popping, and pain in affected joints with exercise or activity. Arthritis is essentially a degenerative change in a joint, where the cartilage lining the joint, bone surfaces, and ligaments begins to wear out. This causes the bones that make up the joint to rub together causing pain and stiffness. One way to manage the symptoms that accompany arthritis is by being physically active. However sometimes the pain that accompanies OA can make it difficult to exercise or be active. This is where aquatic exercise can be of great help. Aquatic exercise does not necessarily entail swimming, but includes a number of exercises that can help strengthen muscles and decrease pain.

Aquatic exercise has many benefits the first being increased range of motion. Exercising in the water allows the affected joints to move through the full range of motion with increased ease, due to the buoyancy and unweighting benefits of the water. Increased range of motion allows for increased functional mobility, making daily tasks such as walking and climbing stairs easier. Additional benefits include strengthening of muscles surrounding the joint. As the joint move through the water, the water acts as resistance to the movement allowing you to exercise muscles around the joint. Stronger muscles help better support the joint, helping to unload the arthritic joint and reduce pain. Exercising in warm water also helps relax muscles and can help increase blood flow to muscles surrounding the joint. This allows for increased activity and pain free range of motion.

For more information regarding aquatic exercise come in and speak with a therapist today and ask about our therapy pool. Our therapy pool has two treadmills and two swim currents (for those who wish to swim or just want to add resistance while walking on the treadmill). The water temperature is maintained at around 92*. We also have water weights, resistive bands, and other equipment to help maximize your aquatic exercise experience.

*see front desk for our current setting on our endless pool.