How a Hot Tub Can Help You Ease Back Pain
Modern life is often not friendly to our backs. We sit too much. Our posture is off. We carry too many heavy things. Our spines protest under the stress and weight of the world, literally. Not to mention old injuries that pop back up from time to time. Sciatica, muscle spasms, pinched nerves, slipped discs. They make life uncomfortable and even limit productivity.
Pain medications only mask the symptoms and do nothing to treat the underlying condition. Chiropractic treatments are great, but they’re not always the most convenient. You have to find the time to fit the appointments into your schedule, commute to the clinic, and keep doing that regularly, until the issue is resolved. And then start the process all over again the next time your back starts to hurt.
There is a way, however, that you can not only reduce pain and discomfort for immediate relief, but also address the root cause of your back pain so that it goes away and stays away, for the long term. The answer could be as close as your own backyard.
We’re talking about a hot tub.
Relax and Heal with a Hot Tub
When most people think about hot tubs, they think of luxury. Bubbling massage jets, vapor rising in romantic wisps off the surface of the water, perhaps a tray of champagne and strawberries, pour deux. While it’s true that hot tubs are an incredible oasis and a private getaway where you can unwind and have fun, they’re so much more than that.
Hot tubs are also tools for improving health and wellness. You could even go so far as to call them medical devices. They’re the ultimate example of how what feels good can also be good for you. This is because water, especially water that is heated and targeted at the body through powerful massage jets, has healing powers.
Hydrotherapy is the technical term for this. Basically, it’s a type of water-based therapy that uses the natural properties of water, including temperature and buoyancy, to offer a whole range of health benefits, from reducing pain to speeding up the healing of injuries. It even has an impact on lowering stress, improving sleep patterns, treating anxiety and depression, and promoting the overall well-being that allows you to enjoy your life to the fullest.
So hot tubs, with all of their bubbling, warm, soothing, and invigorating qualities, are basically hydrotherapy machines. There are lots of studies to support this, but your own experience is often the most powerful proof.
Think back to the times you’ve sunk happily into a hot tub, either alone or with family and friends, and how swiftly and totally it zapped the tension from your muscles, eased your aches and pains, calmed your mind, and grounded you in the present moment.
This could become part of your wellness routine that you get to practice and enjoy several times a week, or even daily, if you like. Having your own hot tub puts all of these incredible benefits right in your own backyard.
And this is just the beginning when it comes to using hot tubs to improve your health and well-being.
It turns out that hot tubs are also excellent places to build strength, stamina, endurance, flexibility, and the overall physical fitness that will let you live life the way you want to.
Explore a New Approach to Low-Impact Exercise
We all know that exercise is, of course, an essential part of good health. But not everyone does it and not everyone can do it.
Here are just a few of the reasons why you may not have been able to or may not have wanted to include exercise in your routine:
- You have injuries or mobility issues
- Getting to a gym or fitness center is too inconvenient
- Your busy schedule leaves no time for regular workouts
- You feel shy or intimidated working out around other people
- You find traditional exercise to be repetitive and boring
- You get aches or pains after working out
This is where a hot tub can change everything for you.
Gyms, fitness centers and public pools all have several things in common: they’re crowded, busy, not always very accessible to people of differing abilities, and they require you to leave your home to get to them.
Your own personal hot tub is pretty much the polar opposite. You’re in the comfort and privacy of your own home, away from curious onlookers, so that you can go at your own pace, listen to the music you like, and enjoy your workouts rather than sweat and grit your teeth through them.
Plus, a hot tub offers something that is absolutely essential for people with back pain: a low-impact environment.
If your back pain is consistent, the thought of hopping onto a rowing machine, stair stepper or joining an aerobics or yoga class is pretty much out of the question. You may need to exercise in a way that supports your body and doesn’t pose the threat of more wear and tear on your joints and muscles.
The water in a hot tub provides this crucial support by buoying up your body, cushioning you from the impact of your movements and creating a sense of gravity-defying weightlessness.
What’s more, the heat of the water warms up your muscles so they’re more flexible, pliant, and in prime form, so you can get more out of your workouts without paying the price in terms of sore, overworked muscles.
How Exercise Can Help with Back Pain
OK, so now that we’ve covered why hot tubs are an ideal environment for exercise, let’s talk about why exercise is so effective at easing back pain and getting you back on your feet.
When it comes to back pain in particular, exercise performs several key functions that keep the muscles, bones, and connective tissues healthy and working as they should.
You know those discs that fill in the spaces between the bones of your spine? They stay healthy by receiving nutrition from fluid exchange. They basically swell up with water and then release it, like a sponge being squeezed out.
Without exercise, this process doesn't work like it's supposed to. The discs swell up but don't wring out, so they don't get the nutrition they need and they start to degenerate. Exercise is essential to healthy back function in other ways, too. It keeps the connective tissues of your ligaments and tendons supple and pliable, reducing stiffness and restoring movement and flexibility.
Whether you’re dealing with an injury or just living the normal contemporary lifestyle that throws us out of balance by stressing some muscles while underutilizing others, exercise should be a key element in your road to recovery.
You can train your body to start using your muscles in the optimal way so that you’re strong, flexible, have good endurance and stamina, and can do all the things you want to do, whether it’s ballroom dancing with your partner, hiking in the woods every weekend, keeping up with your children or grandchildren, or just enjoying a day-to-day life where pain doesn’t make even a whiff of an appearance.
Ease Back Pain with Spa-Friendly Exercise
There are plenty of exercises and stretches you can do to relieve back pain that are not only simple, but fun. Remember that before you undertake any course of exercise in your hot tub, it’s a good idea to get the green light from your doctor first. It’s also important to start slowly and to stop if you feel any pain or discomfort.
Here is a list of the most popular and effective hot tub exercises to reduce pain, improve flexibility, and build strength.
1. Torso Twists
A strong back needs to be supported by strong stomach muscles, so it’s important to keep your core toned and in shape.
Either sitting or standing in your hot tub, tighten your stomach muscles and raise your lower arms as if you were lifting a pair of small dumbbells. Then twist to the right and hold this position for about five seconds. Then twist to the left side and hold for another five seconds. Repeat at least 20 times on each side.
2. Side Stretches
This is an awesome move that helps lengthen and extend the spine while simultaneously soothing and easing the muscles that support it.
Standing in the middle of your hot tub, reach your arms skyward and clasp your hands together above your head. Lean over to the left, so you feel a stretching and lifting along the right side of your body, from your arm through your torso and hip. Hold the stretch and breathe in and out for 30 seconds. Then repeat on the other side.
3. Hamstring Stretches
Back pain isn’t always directly caused by an issue in the back—it can originate from other parts of the body, one of them being tight leg muscles. This is a move that will relax and release the tension in your lower body, the beneficial effect of which will naturally flow to your back and hips.
Sit down in your hot tub and extend one leg out in front of you. Flex your foot, pointing your toes toward your face, and then lean forward gently from the hips. Reach your arms out toward your toes and hold this position for 10 seconds. Then repeat with the other leg.
4. “Cat” Stretches
Did you know that you can do yoga in your hot tub? This move is pulled directly from yoga practice and it’s perfect for back pain because it’s gentle, easy, and offers a deep stretch throughout your entire spine.
Start by sitting in your hot tub with your hands on your knees. Round your shoulders forward and slightly in, so that your back forms a gentle outward curve. Tuck your chin into your chest and breathe in and out as you hold the position for five seconds. Then slowly release it, feeling your spine stack itself back into position, one vertebrae at a time. Repeat the move 10 times.
Supercharge Your Exercises
Get even more out of your hot tub exercises by combining them with proven stress-relief techniques. Or add an extra layer of relaxation and sensory stimulation with aromatherapy for your hot tub. You can customize your hot tub experience to your specific needs and preferences for the ultimate in healing and health building.
Shop Hot Tubs in Calgary
You deserve to enjoy a relaxed life, free of back pain. Find out more about how a hot tub can help you heal your back pain and improve your health, happiness, and well-being.
Shop our selection of top-of-the-line hot tubs and start creating the backyard of your dreams, where you can exercise, unwind, and spend quality family time. Our friendly and knowledgeable SunSpa agents will walk you through the process step-by-step, from selecting the right hot tub for your needs and lifestyle, to providing the care and maintenance instructions that will keep your hot tub in top condition for years to come. Contact us today to get started.