Quantcast

Living with Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)

Swimming/hydrotherapy


#1

Lots of us mention the benefits of “swimming” here alot.

I used to be a strong swimmer BUT I could no longer swim a length on account of the PsA in my shoulders, elbows and SI joints than I could fly to the moon.

This doesn’t stop me getting in the pool twice a week. I don’t swim but I water walk, stand at the side and do gentle squats, use inflated arm bands on my hands/feet to drag through the water, foam noodles to create more resistance and to support other exercises. Oh, and I water jog on the spot.

I learnt all this by seeing a physiotherapist with specific qualifications in hydrotherapy and can now work my routines by myself. I can add additional resistance or repetitions depending on how I’m feeling on the day.

So for anyone thinking " I can’t go swimming " just try getting in water (and it needs to be warm) and move. Move anyhow you can. You will be AMAZED by how much the warm water, compression, pressure relief support your range of movement and all movement will make you feel better.

Please don’t think that “swimming” only means swimming strokes, widths and lengths.


#2

I broke down and bought a hydrotherapy hot tub. Expensive, but a good investment. I find if I get a regular pool, the cold water doesn’t help.

I am trying to work up to walking regularly. I may try your ideas to see if they help.


#3

It will help, I promise!

I remember my first few weeks, if not months, I winced and cried but my physio kept me moving, as much as I could face doing, and bit by bit my pain decreased and range of movement increased. If it came to a choice I’d give up my biologic before I gave up my pool sessions. I think the exercise has given me as much of my life back as Simponi has done.


#4

I am just so damn jealous of your hot tub. It was you who mentioned the lottery wasn’t it? So anyway I’m getting my ticket this week which will obviously result in both a hot tub and a really awesome little extension in which to house it. I’m with Jules … swimming or a physio routine in water is the biz. Is there a warm hydrotherapy pool available near you?


#5

Haven’t found a warm pool locally. I also have a lot of pain from 4 neck surgeries. I had been looking at a hot tub for a while, but good ones are $$

After my PsA diagnosis in November I started looking closer at them. The arthritis foundation recommended them and my doc said it wouldn’t hurt, so that was a good enough reason to get one. :grinning: Also have a cousin in the same boat and he has one and recommended it. I bought one last December. I love sitting in it when it is about 30 degrees outside! I have started soaking for about 30 minutes around 8:00 in the evening so I can get some sleep. It will help with pain and stiffness for about 4 or 5 hours and let me get to sleep.

Just came home from work early because my legs and everything attached tot hem hurt badly. I’m about to get in the HT.

It was $$$, but still less than a year of Otezla.

I am looking around at some local reflex therapy places. Once I find a good one will get doc to write a script. I have had it with PT. They just make things worse.

I am having to convince myself that I must exercise everyday.


#6

That is quite a hot tub and it’s really interesting to get a window on how someone copes with the disease, literally like looking through a window!

If you would like regular nagging re. exercise we will be happy to provide it! Seriously, don’t overdo it, make it as enjoyable as possible, keeps at it but don’t expect to get results for a while, but do believe it WILL help because it sure will.


#7

Not through a window, bad cell phone pic.

Right now the hot tub is my go to for pain and stiffness. It works better before bedtime than a pain pill.

They are pricey, but I use it and so does my wife ( she just had shoulder surgery).

Get a prescription for one if you can. Should save sales tax and may be able to deduct on your taxes.


#8

Not a chance in the Great White North! :unamused:

But I must say that’s a lovely hot tub! The fountain feature … yes! Hey, the sounds it makes are so relaxing! Do you have any exercises that you do in the hot water? My practice is to do very gentle stretching and range of motion work while stewing in the warm: it feels sooooo good. Legs, hips, back, shoulders and arms. I wonder if a physiotherapist could give you some suggestions for things that you might be able to do.


#9

Starting to stretch now. I am having a lot of trouble with my knees. It has a recliner it that I can lay back on jets hit the backs of my legs. I starting looking at just a 3 person tub, but they were not deep enough so I ended up with 5 person tub.

As for the Otezal, I have to meet my $2,000 out of pocket at the first of the year, but the manufacturer picked it up this year.

I have located a good physiotherapist near me. I have been talking to them. Next step is to get doc to write a script.


#10

Perfect! It’s all under control then.

Yes, I agree with you about the 3 person vs the 5 person tub. The deeper the water, the more you can do in the way of movement in it. Our friends have a four, and I go in occasionally, and it’s OK, but whenever I’ve been in a deeper one, I’ve noticed how much better it is.

As for Otezla, make sure you get every break / coupon / offer they have. This business is hard enough without having a financial burden to carry as well.


#11

I end up $2k out of pocket the first of every year, whether it is the Otezla or something else. I think the manufacturer is going to keep picking it up next year.

After the $2k, everything else is paid for for the year.

My house is in the woods on the side of a hill, so we have no neighbors. Wife and I got tired of the bathing suits quickly. When I sit in it at night I turn off all the lights and I can look up at the stars and relax. Best rest and pain relief I get.

I was okay in it this winter down to 22 degrees as long as the wind wasn’t blowing. I am looking forward to it cool off this fall.

The place I got the hot tub at sold the swim spas, they were well over 20K and huge. I have never been much of a swimmer, but I thought about one of them.

I may get me some of those paddles you put on your hands to excercise your arms in a pool and use them.


#12

Wow, sounds like a really lovely spot!

Look into the gloves too, and the “weights” for your legs: a bit of resistance when you’re moving gentle could do you good.

The weak spot in our Canadian system is drug coverage. There is none for “normal” drug costs, but a lot of people have a private drug plan through work. I had a choice of several plans: the most expensive came with what looked like a low deductible, but high premiums. The cost of premiums plus co-pay for Enbrel was shockingly expensive. It was less expensive, overall, for me to go with a cheaper plan with limited coverage, and then move onto the government’s catastrophic drug costs plan. My co-pay on that plan was $6K per year. Ouch. Oh wait, those are tiny but perfectly-formed Canadian dollars. Still a big chunk of disposable income.


#13

I would actually love to see my doctor’s face if I asked for a prescription for a hot tub. I’m tempted.

But getting Humira free at the point of delivery in the UK is amazing I know.


#14

milk jugs are cheaper and work better than the paddles…


#15

Good idea lamb, thanks.

In the states, if you can get a prescription you can take some of the cost off your income taxes (some).

Otezla here is $45 a pill X 2 a day.


#16

We looked at the swim spas, I get so much benefit from water I was willing to pay the money out of savings but a survey of our property showed it would be impossible to get one in here except with very expensive land tracks and cranes … all the kind of stuff that are used to maintain train tracks. Probably would have cost as much as the swim spa!

So I tried a couple of pools locally: too deep, too cold, too difficult to get in/out of. Then @Seenie and I were chatting one day and she was googling hotel spas close to me and in the blink of an eye she had established a full 101 on a place a 10 minute drive away. Been going there ever since :slight_smile:

I can’t do the weight of the milk jugs @tntlamb mentions but two inflatable arm bands (make sure to get adult size) from Amazon or a local sport store are only around $10. You can inflate/deflate to adjust the resistance, hold by hand, tuck on your wrist or put on your feet/ankles. And then move those limbs. In your hot tub they would be fantastic. If you can bicycle your legs without catching the floor/sides that is a great water exercise for knees, with or without the inflatables. Swim fins are good for the same exercise in deeper water.

I can do so much in water with great benefits that on land would do nothing except make the problem worse. Writing this makes me realise how passionate I am about the benefits of water. I wish there was more information online about water exercises … how many hundreds of “celeb” exercise videos have we all seen but there is nothing in water for the movement/exercise challenged!

And the answer is “NO, NO, NO” before anyone suggests I demo the moves at the pool and post on YouTube.

Miss you all, I must come by more often.


#17

Hi Jules! I’ve just had a great idea, why don’t you make a youtube of the moves?

We miss you too! Loads!


#18

You are correct with your advice. I can’t “swim” and probably most of us can’t, but we can sit on a noodle, dog paddle and move around in the water. We can do all kinds of back, leg and upper body exercises in a slightly modified form as we begin to strengthen our hurtng, weak muscles and joints. Water exercise is the very best way to fight back and feel better.
Blessings!
Toni


#19

I’m very lucky and can swim, I try to do 20 lengths twice a week and it really helps the muscular pain in particular. Needs to be “proper” swimming, though, goggles and head under to maintain good posture, or it really hurts my neck.
When we were in holiday in France this year and last, we visited a thermal spa (Thermapolis near Metz) that has natural hot salty springs - my joints felt the best they ever have, so can highly recommend this if any of you live near one similar.
Very jealous of the hot tub, need to buy a lottery ticket too!