John-Hopkins University’s Arthritis Center, which offers rehabilitation for individuals suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA), if left untreated, RA can cause chronic pain and loss of joint function. John-Hopkins suggests several methods to decrease the chances of long term disabilities from RA by implementing a multifunctional approach to rehabilitation. This approach includes medications, exercise and hydrotherapy methods.
According to John Hopkins, superficial heat has the greatest effect skin and subcutaneous tissue, which is very useful when your goal is to heat joints that are covered by soft tissue. One of the recommended methods for heating joints is hydrotherapy.
Hydrotherapy is a method that uses water, hot or cold, to treat muscle and joint pains. Hydrotherapy includes partial emersion, like whirl pools; whole body emersions. Whole body emersions are highly recommended for treating RA, neurogenic pains and vascular disease. Another method is the fluidotherapy that uses a warm air-fluid mixture, similar to tub with water jets. The benefits of hydrotherapy and fluidotherapy include; relief on joints and the ability to perform range-of motion exercises.
The John-Hopkins Arthritis Center advices that hydrotherapy should be not be the only method utilized for rehabilitation, incorporate other exercises and medications. Visit the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center for more tips, and consult your doctor before implementing a rehabilitation plan.
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