Did you know that there are over 100 different forms of arthritis? If you are afflicted with any type of arthritis, you are probably already too familiar with the hallmark symptoms of this often-debilitating disease. Arthritis patients often suffer from the same host of symptoms, including joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation. Exercise is often prescribed to preserve joint health and reduce the severity of symptoms. Exercise can help ease the stiffness often associated with the disease, and it helps preserve the integrity of joint cartilage.
Many arthritis sufferers are advised to take part in a water exercise routine. Many patients find relief from the symptoms of arthritis through these types of exercises. Indeed, many find that these exercises are fun and relatively easy, even for non-swimmers. One form of water therapy that many arthritis patients find especially helpful is hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy consists of warm water exercises where the body is supported by the water while simultaneously being exposed to a steady stream of moving water that helps the patient build muscle endurance and strength. Other common types of water exercises include under water stretching and simply movement through water. Water exercises help to exercise the muscles and joints without putting them under excessive strength.
Scientific research has helped put water exercise on the map by proving its efficacy in several studies and journals. One such study was published by the American College of Sports Medicine. The study found that elderly patients who practiced water exercises on a regular basis experienced considerable relief from their symptoms and better overall health. In the study, two groups of elderly women between the ages of 60 and 75 were studied to gauge the effects of water exercises on elderly arthritis patients. Half of the women participated in water exercises for twelve weeks, while the other group of women did not participate. The women who did participate in the water exercises reported several benefits. These include a feeling of greater flexibility and range of motion, better oxygen intake, more muscle strength, greater agility, and weight loss. Furthermore, the women reported satisfaction with the fact that they were able to exercise with little risk of injury.
If you suffer from arthritis and are interested in joining a water exercise class, first speak to your doctor to make sure that you are healthy enough to take part in any exercise routine. Also, your doctor or therapist may be able to recommend a class for you. Before you sign up for a class, make sure to do your homework. Contact your local gyms or recreational centers to find out what kind of water exercise programs or classes they offer. Make sure the venue provides adequate facilities. For instance, you will probably want a pool with easy access and whose temperature can be controlled. Make sure it is a facility you feel comfortable in. Of course, you should make sure that the facility offers water classes that suit your tastes, interests, and physical ability. Some facilities will allow you a guest pass so you can try a class before making a long-term commitment.