Yesterday, when I went for a physiotherapy session, I was offered the chance to try hydrotherapy. As luck would have it, although there is normally at least a 4 week waiting list, amazingly a slot was available the same afternoon. So I turned up a few hours’ later and got into the pool with the physio and one other female (older) patient.
Being immersed in hot water relaxed my joints immediately. The water was warmer than I expected (about 34 degrees celcius). Our physio spent time with each of us in turn to run through exercises, which we practised on the spot. One of these was ‘cycling’ while sitting down on a special underwater seat; another involved walking from left to right while holding the bar. I have a tendency to over-extend my joints (due to hypermobility) so had to work hard to avoid that. By the end of the session, I was exhausted as you don’t realise how much energy you’re using up just doing what initially seem like simple exercises. At the same time, it was fun and we had one or two laughs along the way.
Although it’s too early to say what difference it’s made, my joints did feel less painful while in the pool and I did feel better afterwards. As I’m waiting to go on another drug (Sulfasalazine) which won’t be for another few weeks (I need to have an MRI first), it will be interesting to see what impact this treatment (and other non-drug options) have in the meantime.