Hot tubs are often associated with good times and good friends. They can also provide serious therapeutic benefits. Hot tubs have long been prescribed by physiotherapists and used by top level athletes to help reduce pain. Whether the pain is caused by injury, overworked muscles or disease, it is often the result of inflammation. Are hot tubs good for inflammation? Can spending time in a hot tub help relieve pain? In this post we’ll show how a hot tub can be utilized to mitigate the effects of inflammation.
Inflammation is a result of the body’s immune response to irritation, injury and disease. It’s characterized by the convergence of white blood cells and their associated hormones and chemicals into the affected area. The result is often swelling, heat, pain and reduced mobility. Inflammation can be short term, known as acute, or long-lasting, known as chronic. Acute inflammation is often a response to an injury or short term exposure to an irritant, whereas chronic inflammation is more often associated with long term diseases, exposure or susceptibility.
Hot Tub Use and Inflammation
There are several different ways in which a hot tub can help combat inflammation. Certain qualities associated with the hot tub’s water, such as heat, massage and buoyancy, are helpful in counteracting inflammation and its symptoms. Below is a list of how a hot tub can be used to gain temporary relief, from inflammation related symptoms.
Heat can often provide a pain-relieving effect. This is brought about by raising the body temperature, increasing the heart rate, speeding up blood flow, dilation of the blood vessels and promoting the flow of pain-relieving hormones. Warmth allows the muscles, ligaments and tendons to relax which can help relieve pressure on joints and other areas affected by inflammation. If inflammation related symptoms are limiting mobility, the heat of the hot tub can help with range of motion and flexibility.
The water jets of the hot tub can help manipulate and massage the parts of your body that are experiencing pain caused by inflammation. Many of today’s modern hot tubs users have benefited from improvements in the ability of the water jets to pinpoint specific areas of the body. Circuit therapy hot tubs allow the bather to move from seat to seat and target individual muscle groups. By stimulating inflamed areas, blood, oxygen and nutrients are able to promote tissue repair and pain relief.
Water’s buoyant properties help reduce pressure on inflamed joints and tissues. Submerging the body in water can effectively reduce up to 90% of its weight. For a sufferer of a chronic inflammatory disease such as arthritis, spending time in the hot tub will not only provide pain relief, it can help increase mobility and range of motion. Water also provides stability for those who have balance issues. It can allow for low impact exercise without the fear of falling.
Exercise is often prescribed for those who suffer from chronic inflammation. Exercise increases blood flow and promotes the circulation of nutrients and oxygen in the blood. Exercise may be difficult for those with severe cases of inflammation, but a hot tub can help stimulate blood flow and circulation without the need for strenuous exercise. As the body temperature rises, the heart beats faster and the blood is able to reach the extremities with greater ease.
Getting adequate amounts of sleep is important to allow your body to function properly. Poor sleep hygiene can lead to immune system suppression and the inability of the body to repair itself. It’s been found that the increase and decrease in body temperature as a result of a hot tub session sends signals to the brain that create drowsiness. If you have problems with your sleeping patterns, spending time in a hot tub can help.
To learn more about the therapeutic effects of hot tub use, download a free buyer’s guide today.