Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month—Benefits of Hot Tub Therapy
Arthritis is typically associated with age but the month of July raises awareness for children with the disease. Juvenile arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes swelling in the joints, affects 300,000 children in the country and is often under-recognized.
Juvenile arthritis, an autoimmune disease, affects 300,000 children in the country and is often under-recognized. Those with the condition typically experience stiffness and soreness, making it painful to get through everyday movements. Yet, one of the best ways to combat the symptoms of arthritis is just that — movement. Because the disease causes tissue inflammation, the wear and tear of typical exercise can create increased swelling and more pain.
However, warm water exercise has been shown to reduce those symptoms, improve strength and flexibility, and encourage fun.
Hot tub therapy incorporates exercise and rehabilitation movements that are normally performed on land in warm water. While the impact of gripping monkey bars or stomping around the basketball court might increase a child’s pain, exercising in the warm water of a hot tub is an alleviator, as well as puts the fun back into physical activity.
Water’s Natural Benefits
The buoyancy of water provides a safe and low-impact environment for exercising, compared to performing the same activity on land. In fact, when in water, the majority of the body’s weight is supported, enabling land exercises to be performed without the risk of muscle and joint swelling. While pools are an option for hydrotherapy, hot tubs and swim spas also offer a therapeutic hydromassage. The spas feature jets that combine air and water to relieve pain and improve flexibility.
Another benefit unique to hot tub therapy is water temperature. Warmer water helps muscles relax, improving flexibility and increasing circulation. Adjust the water temperature, depending on the patient’s needs, to help reduce pain and better perform exercises. The Arthritis Foundation recommends a water temperature between 83 degrees and 90 degrees. For a child living with arthritis, soothing the joints and muscles is essential to living an enjoyable life.
Opportunity for Better Living
July is a perfect opportunity to teach your child about his or her own health and how important exercise is to maintaining a healthy life.
Whether he or she is living with arthritis, the month can spark a conversation about the impact of the disease as well as the water exercises that provide arthritis relief.
Most importantly, it offers a fun, pain-free environment for those living with a chronic condition to find much-needed relief.