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Arthritis is the inflammation of joints, and the symptoms include fever, redness, swelling, and stiffness of joints. The two main types of arthritic condition: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It has many causes and is seen to affect people of all age groups.

The causes include, abnormal metabolism, injury, genetics (family history of arthritis), and infections. Due to the stiffness in the joints, overall movement is restricted to a great extent. However, regular workout is the key to reduce this stiffness, make the muscles flexible, and manage body weight. Exercising lowers the stress levels, and helps reduce the pain caused due to the inflammation of joints. Water exercises, is a form of treatment, which is soothing and safe for the arthritic joints. Warm water helps to relax the body muscles. Usually, visiting a spa, before or after exercising, for a massage, is an ideal way to relax the muscles. Water workouts are gentle on the muscles and joints, and are beneficial, as the water supports the painful joints while exercising, and helps build the strength of the muscles. It is very important to consult a doctor before you start any such exercise routine.

Important Instructions

There are some guidelines to be followed before you start the exercises. They are as follows:
  • If you are using a hot water pool or tub, check the temperature of water using a thermometer. Exceedingly high temperature is not safe for the human body.
  • If you are suffering from heart diseases, low or high blood pressure conditions, multiple sclerosis, and other serious diseases, it is recommended to consult the doctor before opting for these workouts.
  • Pregnant women should not enter hot water pools without medical recommendation.
  • The water exercises must not be done after consuming alcohol and drugs.
  • When you are doing these workouts, it is necessary that someone helps you get into and out of the pool.
Types of Exercises

These exercises are most suited for weak joints, as these are low impact exercises and relatively easy for reducing weight. Other forms exercises cannot be performed in arthritic condition, due to the restricted movement of the joints. You should always remember to start with an easy exercise, to warm up your body. The workout should be the one that concentrates on the part of the body that is affected by arthritis. Some of them are as follows:

Wrists and Fingers
Submerge yourself in the water till the water level reaches up to your neck. Stretch your arms in front of your body with the palms facing upwards. Then, slowly, turn the palms in downward direction. Repeat this action for at least 10 times. To soothe the wrist joints, stretch the arms out in the front and move the wrists up and down, slowly. Repeat the same for 5 times. Curl your fingers to form a fist and again stretch open the palm. Perform this exercise on both the palms at a time.

Elbows and Ankles
Stretch your arms in front and then bend them in the elbows, so that the thumb of each hand touches the shoulder of the same hand. This exercise strengthens the muscles of your elbows. For soothing and relaxing the ankles, stand up and raise the leg in the forward direction, with your knees bending at an angle of 30 degrees. Slowly, bend your ankle up and down.

Hips
From the standing position, try bending sideways, slowly. Maintain the bending position for a few seconds. Initially, do it for just 5 seconds. Then, come back to the starting position. Repeat the same on the other side. Another exercise would be to stand in an upright position, and hold the pool wall with your left hand and swing your right leg in the forward and backward direction. Repeat this using the right hand to hold and left leg to swing.

Walking
Walking in the water is the best exercise for your knees and ankles. Remember to swing your hands when you walk in the water.

These are some of the preliminary workouts that will help you get relief from the pain and increase your muscle strength. There are fitness clubs and recreation centers, where classes for these exercises are conducted.