5 Ways Luxuriating in a Hot Tub Alleviates Chronic Pain

Health care practitioners learn about pain in school, and one of the first lessons is that it interferes with the recovery process from physical injury or illness. Chronic pain can prevent sufferers from engaging in recreation and enjoying daily activities. It can also interfere with sleep and reduce their overall quality of life.

According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 126 million Americans adults are living with pain.

Chronic pain can drain your bank account, too. Many who are suffering spend tens of thousands of dollars annually on treatments like massage, heat therapy and anti-gravity devices. A hot tub could deliver all of these benefits anytime for a lot less.  

Consider these five proven benefits of hot tub use.

1 - Heat

When we injure a muscle, what do doctors tell us to do once the swelling subsides? Apply heat. Why not bathe in heat instead? Hot water surrounds your body and penetrates the skin, increases blood flow, loosens muscles and stimulates repair. This is why professional athletes use hot tubs liberally to recover from injury.

Hot tubs are also a great way to warm up muscles before exercise. Research shows that applying moist heat before stretching reduces the risk of injury.

2 - Buoyancy

Gravity is the law, but when you step into the water, you don’t have to obey it. Water reduces your effective weight – and thus the pressure on your body – by 90 percent, points out Jennifer Catterson, relaxation wellness specialist at Hanson HotSpring Spas in Colorado Springs. Following elbow replacement surgery, Catterson was told by her physical therapist to rehab in her hot tub.

3 - Massage

The pressure from jets in a hot tub is not for everyone. But, for most of us, it works as a gentle, continuous massage of the affected area. The moving water kneads muscles much like a massage therapist would do, releasing lactic acid and promoting recovery from injury.

Unlike the work of a massage therapist or physical therapist, owning your hot tub means using it whenever you want, not just when you have an appointment. You determine the length of treatment based on your schedule and needs, and not having to travel or pay each time removes these impediments from getting the treatment you need.

4 - Effect on Arthritis

The Arthritis Foundation says hot tub use can offer relief from pain and stiffness for the 43 million Americans with arthritis. Increased blood circulation from the heat and freer movement in the water combine to provide an ideal environment for low-impact exercises.

“Regular sessions in your hot tub help keep joints moving. It restores and preserves strength and flexibility, and also protects your joints from further damage,” according to the Arthritis Foundation’s website.

5 - Improved Sleep

Poor sleep and chronic pain form a vicious cycle of cause and effect that worsens both conditions, but hot tubs reverse that effect. Studies have shown that hot tub use is associated with better sleep, and restorative sleep helps to ease the pain. And when pain is lessened, it helps a person’s sleep improve. It’s a cycle that could help chronic pain sufferers sleep soundly once again.

Catterson says about two-thirds of her customers are people buying hot tubs primarily for its therapeutic benefits and less for socializing and recreation. One husband-and-wife dental team were spending thousands of dollars on professional massages to heal their aching backs from bending over patients all day. Now they use the hot tub they purchased and save the money from all those visits. “We sleep better and work longer without pain,” she says.

To learn more about the benefits of hot tub use for chronic pain, visit Hanson HotSpring Spas’ showroom at 1835 Dublin Boulevard in Colorado Springs or see them online at HansonSpa.com.