Hydrotherapy is the use of water in the treatment of different conditions, including arthritis and related rheumatic complaints. Hydrotherapy differs from swimming because it involves special exercises that you do in a warm-water pool. The water temperature is usually 33–36ºC, which is warmer than a typical swimming pool.
Hydrotherapy can help you in a number of different ways:
- The warmth of the water allows your muscles to relax and eases the pain in your joints, helping you to exercise.
- The water supports your weight, which helps to relieve pain and increase the range of movement of your joints.
- The water can be used to provide resistance to moving your joints. By pushing your arms and legs against the water, you can also improve your muscle strength.