There’s a common misconception that Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an age-related illness which only affects the elderly. Unfortunately for many, this is not always the case and some diagnosis’s come as early as two years old. Which makes #AnyoneAnyAge a very fitting subject for #RAAW (Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Week) taking place 17th-23rd June.
#RAAW is designed to raise awareness of the illness, offer support and advice to sufferers and this year, banish the stigma around RA only being associated with the elderly. And, luckily for us, we’re able to get involved by putting hydrotherapy in the spotlight as a tried and tested way to reduce symptoms on RA.
Let’s start from the beginning
This may be news to some people, but this illness was the driving force behind the original Jacuzzi® jet, which was invented by the Jacuzzi® brothers in 1956 as a direct response to an early diagnosis of RA in the family – a jet which defined an industry.
In the early 1940’s, Ken Jacuzzi, the youngest of 4 children was diagnosed with this debilitating illness. Ken spent many years using the specially designed ‘hydropool’ at the hospital where he was treated – his mother could see from very early on how the treatment helped her son to be more flexible and pain free. What happened next changed the lives of not only Ken and his family, but so many other sufferers around the world.
Ken’s chronic pain and discomfort drastically improved when the original Jacuzzi® jet was put into a bath in his own home, creating what we know today as hydrotherapy. Over the next six decades, Jacuzzi® jets have evolved, paving the way for technological advanced products that offer relaxation and hydrotherapy to soothe and aid all forms of physical aches and pains synonymous with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Healing with hydrotherapy
Up until a short time ago the term “hydrology” (or Medical hydrology) was widely used to refer to medical or therapeutic practices utilising water. Only recently more appropriate and specific terms have come into common use (like hydrotherapy, balneology, creno-therapy and thalassotherapy (sea bathing), to indicate the use of water, both normal or naturally mineralised, as a remedy for internal and external pathologies. Hydrotherapy in general consists in the therapeutic use of water without making a distinction between
water to drink or bathe in.
Hydrotherapy is only one form of treatment to help those who suffer with RA. We would always recommend that patients take advice from their Rheumatologist before partaking in any alternative and therapeutic treatments, including hydrotherapy.
To find out more about the history of Jacuzzi®, click here.