Will a Hot Tub Help a Sprained Ankle?

Most people think of a hot tub as a place to relax and reduce stress levels or as a place for socializing with family and friends. Convalescence is not usually the first thing that springs to mind when someone mentions a hot tub. However, a hot tub can play an important role in recovery from injuries. For example, will a hot tub help a sprained ankle? If used in the proper manner, a hot tub can greatly reduce the amount of recovery time needed by someone who suffered from a sprained ankle. To find out how the hot tub can help, we’ve come up with an article to outline how a hot tub should be used in such a situation.

RICE Therapy

If you believe you’ve suffered a sprained ankle, you can use the RICE method as a first-aid treatment. RICE is an acronym for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. It’s a widely used method of a first aid treatment for injuries to soft tissues such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Resting the injured area ensures it won’t sustain a further injury due to the weight being placed on it or being used while injured. Ice should be applied to the affected area for 20-minute periods up to eight times a day. Ice will reduce swelling, slow down blood flow to the injured area and alleviate pain. Compression can also be used on the injured area to reduce blood flow and swelling. Elevating the injured body part above the level of the heart will reduce the amount of blood reaching the injured area and cut down on swelling and bruising.

Medical Attention

After first aid has been applied you should consider seeking medical attention. If you’ve broken a bone, you’ll need this to be attended to by a doctor as soon as possible. And while sprains do not involve broken bones, tearing or stretching of ligaments can cause serious problems that may need further treatment. Ligaments are a tough connective tissue that binds together bones, joints or cartilage and if they’re torn or stretched beyond their limits, they may need to be surgically reattached. Symptoms of a sprained ankle include tenderness to the touch, swelling, bruising and instability of the ankle. A doctor may also prescribe you pain medication or advise you to use an over the counter pain reliever.

Heat Therapy

You shouldn’t apply heat to a sprain for at least two to three days after the injury. You want to make sure any swelling has stopped before applying heat. Heat will increase blood flow and drive oxygen and nutrients to the injured area while boosting cell metabolism. Blood capillaries will become more permeable and waste products and toxins will be flushed away. The heat will also alleviate pain, increase range of motion and reduce the chance of muscle spasms.

Hot Tub Therapy

You can use your hot tub as a way to apply heat to your injured ankle. The water will also provide buoyancy which can take the weight off your injured joint and allow the performance of exercises to help promote healing. One type of exercise recommended to sufferers of a sprained ankle is writing the alphabet underwater using your toes as the writing instrument. Start with the small letters and continue on through the capital letters. This will help keep your ankle flexible and promote the limberness of your ligaments.

To learn more about how a hot tub can be used as a tool for your health and wellbeing, download a hot tub buyer’s guide today.