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tennis tom

4686 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2018 :  08:05:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here's a great letter to the editor from a rheumatologist physician, espousing the GREAT benefits of exercising in a swimming pool. I can personally testify to the GREAT benefits of pool work, as I try to run in the pool's deep end, half an hour daily, using a flotation belt. I follow up with about twenty minutes of back-stroke, to stretch it out for my yoga. I listen to a water-proof Apple nano player or a waterproof FM radio that costs about $35 available over the internet, making the time fly by, often motivating me to work out even longer depending on what's playing. I like listening to Dahlia on Breeze FM.

"Why We Need A Pool" - Letter to the Editor


"As a practicing rheumatologist (arthritis specialist), I am in a unique position to see the impact osteoarthritis (OA-the most common type of arthritis) makes on our community every day. There is no drug treatment available to slow down or change OA. Current medical treatments only target the discomfort of the disease and the drugs of course, carry a real risk of side effects and many people are unable to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) because of other common medical problems.

The only treatment that has been shown to be effective in improving pain and physical functioning is daily exercise. I know it might seem counterintuitive, and I get asked this question daily: “Doc, if the cartilage in my knee (or hip or spine) is wearing out, then won’t exercise make it worse?” The short answer is “no.” In large scale, good quality studies, only daily exercise has been shown to slow down progression, reduce pain and improve functioning in people with arthritis (Barbour, MMWR 2017). OA is truly a “move it or lose it” disease.

For people over age 65, approximately one in two men have some arthritis and two in three women have some arthritis. This number goes up dramatically with aging. The median age of the US population is 39. In Falmouth, the median age is 62! And the projected percentage of the US population over age 85 is expected to double in the next 10 to 20 years. In 2013, US adults spent $140 billion for arthritis attributable causes for about 66 million people. Given these numbers, how much more of an impact will arthritis have in our community versus the rest of the US population?

Unfortunately, access to places to exercise at a reasonable cost is scarce and many older folks don’t feel comfortable going to a traditional gym. And once the weather gets cold, many people will simply not go outside for a daily walk or don’t live near a safe and accessible walking trail. And for people dealing with the daily pain of weight-bearing joint arthritis, conventional exercise can be too painful and make people feel unsteady on their feet. Both the American College of Rheumatology and the Arthritis Foundation (as well as the European League Against Rheumatism) recommend pool exercises as the best exercise for people with arthritis.

I am aware a “memorandum of understanding” (MOU) has been reached between the YMCA of Cape Cod and Falmouth Aquatics. As a community, we need to push to move forward on this project sooner rather than later. We need to ask ourselves: What are we doing to decrease medical costs and maintain the independent functioning of older adults for a disease that affects so many people and has non-drug treatments with well-established efficacy?

Please, let’s build on the momentum of the MOU research this summer and make this project happen. I pledge to be the first instructor leading “exercise for arthritis” classes in the pool. You can come and make fun of me in my swimsuit, as long as you join us.

Michelle F. Costa, Dry Run Road, East Falmouth"

Edited by - tennis tom on 11/18/2018 10:44:43
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