Osteoporosis is a condition where the bones lose density, turning brittle, weak, and prone to fractures. Under a microscope, a bone afflicted with osteoporosis looks like a honeycomb with more empty spaces than solid, healthy bone. There are about 54 million people in the country who suffer from this condition. In Utah, the most recent Health Status Survey that provided statistics in osteoporosis reported that 2.4 percent of males and 16.3 percent of females in the area have the condition.
Osteoporosis patients experience intense pain due to bone fractures and muscle stress. The more progressed their condition is, the more limited their choices of physical activities become. Ironically, one of the best ways to increase bone density and improve muscle strength is to do weight-bearing exercises. The National Osteoporosis Society recommends that adult patients do 30 minutes of moderate to intense physical activities for five days a week.
Exercising, however, can be painful for those with advanced osteoporosis. Fortunately, hydrotherapy can serve as an alternative.
A Good Start for Meeting Moderate Exercise Requirements
Hydrotherapy treats diseases and relieves physical pain by combining exercise with water treatment. It uses various water temperatures (warm water is most common) and pressures to soothe the body.
Hydrotherapy in pools or hot tubs is ideal for people with osteoporosis. They can simply sit or recline and let warm jets of water massage specific areas of their bodies. Being submerged in water also offers them buoyancy. Patients can perform exercises more freely in water than if they were standing on solid ground. More importantly, the weightlessness in water allows them to move their arms, legs, and torso without feeling much pain.
Although hydrotherapy exercises are not weight-bearing, they help strengthen the muscles, which in turn support the bones. This, more than pain relief, makes hydrotherapy important for osteoporosis patients.
The Convenience of At-Home Hydrotherapy
Patients with heated pools and hot tubs at home can enjoy the benefits of hydrotherapy anytime. But while acquiring an at-home spa from an established hot tub dealer won’t hurt, patients will need more than that to reap the benefits of hydrotherapy fully. They also have to consult a licensed physiotherapist and learn the correct and safe ways to exercise given their condition.
With guidance from the right medical experts, osteoporosis patients can be proactive in managing pain and bone rehabilitation.