Living with Lower Back Pain: 6 Ways Hot Tubs Can Help

Many Americans suffer lower back pain at some time in their lives. Poor posture and ergonomics, trauma to the back, and a lifetime of sitting are just a few of the causes contributing to the problem. The problem is so widespread that The National Institutes of Health says Americans fork over $50 billion for back pain relief.

Why not try soaking in a hot tub? While not the only solution, it can certainly serve as a great aid in easing lower back pain. A hot tub can be a great tool in the constant struggle against lower back pain, which is why doctors and chiropractors often recommend their patients use one if they can.

Here are five ways hot tubs can relieve your lower back pain:

  1. Warm Water Works Wonders to Loosen Muscles and Ease Pain

The heat in a hot tub is liquid heat, so it envelopes the body for deeper penetration than air heat. The heat relaxes muscles and reduces spasms, driving lactic acid from nerve endings and quickly reducing pain. Heat also dilates blood vessels to promote the flow of oxygen and other nutrients from the heart to the extremities. This promotes healing in injured tissue and also allows connecting tissue — muscles, ligaments and tendons — to become more limber and improve their range of motion.

  1. Don’t just sit there

Warm water is great for relaxing, but consider the benefits of having enough space to also be able to move around in your own personal hot tub. The Arthritis Foundation provides similar studies from the benefits of warm water stimulating blood flow to stiff muscles and frozen joints, making water an ideal place to do some gentle stretching. Each HotSpring hot tub is designed to provide a sense of circuit therapy with each individual seat focusing on a different part of your body. This therapy provides varying levels of pressure from a soft to deep tissue experience for every user. The jets are designed to provide pressure to various muscles in your body, allowing you to lean into them and let the jets melt away knotted muscles. The flexibility lasts even after you get out, says Ann Vincent, MD, medical director of the Mayo Clinic’s Fibromyalgia Clinic in Rochester, Minn. “Patients report that soaking in a warm bath and stretching after that seems to help.”

  1. Hot Tubs’ Middle Name Is Massage (But Who Uses Their Middle Name?)

The jets in a hot tub gently massage various parts of the body, depending on their placement. In one seat, a jet is strategically placed to shoot a soothing massage into the lumbar spine, where most back injury occurs. Other jets massage different parts of the body that can also contribute to back pain. For example, tightness in the hamstrings has been shown to cause tension in the lower back. The full-body massage that is provided to anyone who does circuit therapy — moving from one seat to another — accrues to the benefit of the lower back.

  1. The Buoyancy from the Water Takes the Pressure Off

We are nearly weightless in water — even more weightless than on the moon. That means every time you enter a hot tub’s swirling waters, you take 80-90% of the pressure off your entire body weight. You can feel your muscles relax just by getting in the water.

  1. Hot Tubs Melt Away the Stress That Tightens the Back

Are you a hot mess emotionally? A hot tub can cool you down by melting the stress away, and that’s good news for your back. It’s nearly impossible to feel bad about your life when soaking in a hot tub, the heat penetrating your body, the jets lightly kneading your muscles, the stars above and the therapeutic sounds of nature. You can literally feel yourself relaxing — body and soul. And then, with time to reflect on the day, you can work through your fears and disappointments and flush them out of your system. Saying goodbye to stress loosens you up and puts you in a frame of mind to heal.

  1. Your Hot Tub is There When You Need It

When you own a hot tub, you can get in it anytime you want. No commute, no closed sign, no hassle. Ah, your back is feeling better already.