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Arthritis – does a hot shower help?

Arthritis is a common condition which causes pain and inflammation in a joint. People of all ages can experience this pain and stiffness. Unfortunately there is no cure but there are a number of effective treatments that can offer some relief from this debilitating condition.

Lifestyle changes are most effective in helping with pain management but something as simple as a hot shower can also be beneficial. Read on to find out how.

What type of arthritis do I have?

Arthritis affects over 10 million people in the UK. It can be caused as a result of injury, other joint-related conditions or family history. There are many types but osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two most common.

 Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in the UK. It causes joints to become painful and stiff, and creates problems with moving the joint. Other symptoms include swelling, tenderness around the affected joints and restricted movement.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is when the body’s immune system targets the sore joints. This causes pain and swelling and can break down the bone and cartilage. It affects women more than men.

Needless to say, if you suffer any of these conditions you should have them checked out by a medical professional.

Hot showers and arthritis

Although arthritis is a complicated condition, many sufferers have found pain relief with warm water therapy. The Arthritis Foundation talks about:

‘Soaking in warm water as one of the oldest, cheapest, and safest forms of complementary therapy’.

Warm water therapy works by expanding your blood vessels to allow more blood and oxygen to flow to the painful area. This increased circulation helps to relax your muscles and sore areas. Just twenty minutes in a warm shower can be great for pain management for all sorts of conditions.

Arthritis Foundation tips for warm water therapy

  • Start your day right by taking a long, warm shower. The heat of the water will reduce morning stiffness, limber up the body, and increase your range of motion for the daily activity ahead. 
  • Make sure the water is not too hot, particularly if you have heart problems. A healthy temperature is between 92 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit/33 – 37 degrees celsius. 
  • Add in some prep time. Taking a shower before you work out or go on a long walk can help to prepare tight joints for exercise and reduce your chance of injury.   

Source: www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/healthy-living/managing-pain/pain-relief-solutions/heat-therapy-helps-relax-stiff-joints

Aquability showers for arthritis

Our walk-in showers at Aquability are perfect for people with arthritis. The low access threshold in many of our products offer easy access for those with mobility issues whether through arthritis or other conditions.

Many of our showers can also have fold-away shower seats installed which makes hot water therapy both safe and comfortable. If you’d like to discuss the right shower combination for pain management, please call us for a free, no obligation chat on our freephone: 0800 316 0115.