Arthritis in a Painfree World
OA in a Painfree World – Aquatic Therapy for Patients with Arthritis
Being Painfree Doesn’t Have to Be Wishful Thinking
Many of my patients have said that “when you have arthritis you often just don’t want to move.”
Aside from the pain of movement, the impact of contact with the ground causes severe pain with every step. Heel pain – and even knee and ankle pain – are not fun to deal with. Walking accentuates this force because the entire body weight is repeatedly shifted entirely onto the affected side. Someone with an arthritic joint will often compensate or limp in order to minimize the weight on that injured limb or side of the body. Compensations often lead to other asymmetries and then 1 dysfunctional body part evolves into multiple problems. This is especially true for the hands and hand pain. Even though it’s necessary to use the hands often throughout the day, arthritis makes this difficult. Finding the right methods for hand pain relief is necessary – and can save patients like you a great deal of frustration and irritation.
The pain of arthritis will also cause many people to limit their activity level. The results are increased swelling/edema, stiffness, weakness, and weight gain. These symptoms lead to more pain and the cycle continues and progresses.
When a patient with arthritis chooses physical therapy, the primary objective of the PT is to maximize the patient’s overall function with minimal compensation over the long-term.
In layman’s terms, they want patients to be able to do as much as possible without injuring something else. For example, if a patient has osteoarthritis (OA) of their right knee, they will commonly walk on a partially bent knee to avoid further injuring or causing more pain to the joint. The common effect is hip or back pain, particularly with excessive use. This low back pain and hip pain may also worsen due to the way arthritic patients compensate for other activities, too. Recovery and exercise go hand in hand. The better your health is, the more exercises you’ll be able to do – and vice versa.
How Physical Therapy Professionals Promote a Painfree Life
If physical therapists can help patients move and walk more normally, they can significantly reduce the effects of pain throughout the entire body. Practicing normal movement in a pain-free environment enables progression to everyday pain-free movement during regular daily activities. Water offers that pain-free environment.
Aquatic Therapy Helps Patients Live Painfree Lives
Aquatic therapy is an invaluable tool for patients with OA, particularly in the latter stages of the disease. The hydrostatic pressure of a pool provides an effective means of reducing swelling. The 93-degree waters of a Hydroworx pool ease pain and facilitate movement. Additionally, the buoyancy of water reduces the effects of gravity. These natural qualities combined with the unique features of the Hydroworx pool – the treadmill, parallel bars, resistance jets, steps, exercise platform, and massage hose – make it the ultimate rehab tool for patients with arthritis. Pool exercises are modified to meet individual patient needs, making it a highly useful tool for those with arthritis. But that’s not the only population that aquatic therapy helps. People with different types of injuries seeking pain relief also might benefit from using a pool.
A warm pool allows arthritic joints to move as if they’ve been lubricated like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz. Warm water feels great on sore joints and the buoyant properties assist with movement. The beauty of the Hydroworx pool is the ability to walk or jog on a treadmill in this buoyant environment. Instead of experiencing pain every time an arthritic limb makes contact with the ground, the user feels as if they are free-floating with every step. Chest-deep water unweights the body 80%. That means that a 200 lb individual feels as if they weight 40 lbs.
Understanding Painfree Lifestyles and Why They Are Important
Decreased pain and increased mobility allow a patient, even with severe arthritis, to endure a vigorous workout without the normal side-effects. Think of the long-term benefits. They include increased mobility, increased strength, improved cardiovascular endurance, weight loss, and related decreased pain. In addition, pain relief has improved gait and decreased risk of falls.
Our patients and clients with arthritis can’t live without their regular sessions on the Hydroworx treadmill. For many of them, it’s become a part of their regular routine and they continue with us as cash clients long after their insurance physical therapy benefits are used up. In the current healthcare environment, the Hydroworx pool is an ideal tool for individuals with arthritis.
But arthritis isn’t the only condition that patients suffer from.
The more you know about your overall health, the more a physical therapy professional can help. Sometimes, conditions are acute like a pinched nerve, sudden injury, or a simple illness. Other times, the pain may be chronic, or the result of a long-term condition like pain after pregnancy, arthritis, or an extensive illness. Whatever the case may be, seeking out pain relief is recommended. The sooner you treat your condition, the sooner you’ll get the results you’re looking for.
If you are experiencing arthritis pain you can find Daniel Seidler and WSPT through the BetterPT clinic location tool website and BetterPT mobile app in addition to hundreds of other quality physical therapy clinics in your area.
Don’t wait for your arthritis to get worse. Book a physical therapy appointment today and get BETTER!