Warm Water Therapy Relieves Discomfort From Arthritis

February 19, 2013

“Before I started the Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program, I had pain in my legs and arms. Sometimes the pain was so bad, it kept me from sleeping. Since I started three years ago, my pain has subsided.” -Nancy, Osteoarthritis

The Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program (AFAP) is a warm-water group exercise program that has been shown to reduce pain and improve overall health. This program, which was developed by the Arthritis Foundation, is designed to help individuals maintain and/or improve their muscular joint mobility. For individuals living with Arthritis, this is key to movement, comfort and the ability to live an active lifestyle.

The AFAP program takes place at Helen Hayes Hospital in our warm water aquatic center. An instructor, who is certified by the Foundation to leads these classes, instructs participants in gentle exercises. Warm water immersion reduces weight-bearing stress on joints, making exercise easier. The warm water (92-94 degrees) also increases circulation and promotes relaxation, deep breathing, cardiovascular endurance, muscle endurance, strength and flexibility.

Suitable for every fitness level, AFAP classes are held bi-weekly in a friendly and supportive environment that encourages social interaction among participants. The ability to swim is not required.

Participants in the AFAP program enjoy the following benefits:

-Reduced pain
-Improved strength and flexibility
-Decreased feelings of isolation through social interaction
-Improvement in day-to-day life

Classes are held at various times on Tuesdays/Thursdays. The cost is $56 per month for two classes per week. To enroll, you simply need to complete a short application. Parking at HHH is free for program participants. Call Alyssa Chagares, CTRS at 845-786-4457 for an application and more information.

-Eileen Andreassi, CTRS
Director Recreational Therapy