Soaking in Warm Water
Soaking in warm bath can ease pain and stiffness caused by osteoarthritis
or a chronic injury. A
warm bath increases circulation, which promotes healing and
loosens up tense muscles. Warm water is also very soothing and reduces stress.
Stress hormones increase one's perception of pain and cause tightening of
muscles. Warm water alone is soothing. But some find they can augment the stress-relieving
properties of the bath by adding essential oils to the water and/or listening
to recorded music or sounds of nature. Soak for 20 to 30 minutes at a time.
Wait at least one hour between another soak to avoid overheating.
Warm Water Exercise
Exercising in water has many benefits for those with joint problems. The buoyancy
of the water supports most of the body weight, taking stress off the joints.
When submerged in neck-level water 90% of the body weight is supported (iIn
chest-deep water 75%). The resistance of the water
means the muscles must work harder to perform any movement, allowing
one to increase the workload of the muscles without stressing the joints.
Warm water exercises are especially beneficial for those with back pain and/or
stiffness, whether from osteoarthritis or a chronic injury. Warm water loosens
up tight muscles and reduces pain, making exercise easier to perform.
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