Osteoarthritis, considered to be the “wear and tear” form of arthritis, could be helped by stretching and aerobic exercises in warm water according to Danish studies.
Six studies were conducted involving over 800 osteoarthritis sufferers. In each study one group of patients did exercises in warm water for different lengths of time and numbers of sessions per week. Another group of patients did no exercise or exercised out of water. These studies were conducted over three month periods. What the researchers found was that people with knee or hip osteoarthritis reported a decrease in pain by over 5% and improved motion by more than 4%. There was not significant evidence that there was improvement immediately following the water exercise sessions but that improvement occurred over time as evidenced by the results following the three month trials.
Researchers did not determine if there was an optimal form or time of exercise and said that more research would be necessary. However, the studies did show that participating in some form of water exercise was advantageous to osteoarthritis symptoms.