Warm Water Therapy Benefits For Psoriatic Arthritis
Last updated: June 2023
Exercising in water has always been one of my favorite workouts. It is easier on my joints and doesn’t hurt my body like exercising on land. I attended many water aerobics classes in the past. Yet, it was the simple act of walking in water that my body responded to the best.
Until recently, my water workouts always took place in unheated pools. But I have become a massive fan after discovering how warm water therapy could also benefit my life with psoriatic arthritis.
Well, what are the benefits?
There are so many benefits that stem from exercising in warm water. A few of these benefits are an increase in circulation, strength, and flexibility. It may also reduce your blood pressure, increase blood flow, and release toxins. Personally, I have also noticed an improvement in my quality of sleep. My body is more relaxed than ever before.
For people like myself, who prefer outdoor pools and spas, we get the extra benefit of a daily dose of vitamin D. This was something my body was greatly missing while I was on bed rest recovering from multiple torn abdominal muscles. Being back outdoors, even for as little as 15 minutes a day, makes a huge difference.
Will I even notice a difference?
According to the CDC, exercising in water can improve the affected joints without worsening symptoms. Water therapy, warm or not, can decrease joint tenderness and pain. Walking backward in water strengthens back muscles, which is a huge win for people whose spine is greatly affected by psoriatic arthritis. Aquatic therapy also improves balance.
Personally, the difference I experience between walking on land and water is astonishing. When walking on the ground, inflammation in my knees and lower back significantly increases. Whereas when I walk in water, I experience a substantial decrease in inflammation.
Why don't more folks know about water therapy?
There are many benefits to exercising in warm water with psoriatic arthritis, yet it is one of the most underused forms of therapy. As someone that is enjoying the benefits of warm water exercises, I can’t help but wonder why this activity is not typically mentioned or encouraged by physicians.
In a perfect world, doctors would not only be encouraging PsA patients to try water therapy, but insurance companies would cover the cost of accessing a gym or spa. I would also like a credit towards purchasing a warm water therapy spa or hot tub, so the patient didn’t have to travel to exercise. Although traveling to a gym on a daily basis would not have been an issue before my muscle injuries, it is now. While still not necessarily a cheap solution, I took the plunge and purchased an inflatable hot tub. It is not deep or long enough to walk in, but it is perfect for stretches, pilates, yoga, and simple exercises such as leg kicks.
Have you talked to your doctor about warm water therapy?
Has PsA changed how you think about sex and intimacy?
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