Hot tubs offer a relaxing, warm-water environment that combines buoyancy and massaging jets, making them a practical and well-used tool for many types of therapy. From the relief of general discomfort to the specialized treatment of medical conditions, hot tubs promote diverse aspects of health and wellness when used under the guidance of medical experts. Before undertaking a therapeutic hot-tub regimen, ensure that a physician has cleared you for hydrotherapy and high-heat conditions.
Hydrotherapy can be a useful tool in the healing of sports injuries, according to a report by certified athletic trainer Terry Zeigler, Ed.D., on SportsMD, but only if heat is applied at the appropriate time in the repair process. Hot-water treatments used too soon after an injury can only aggravate inflammation and further damage tissues. Later in the healing process, when pain and swelling have begun to significantly subside, Zeigler notes that the use of moist heat can activate circulation, provide pain relief and reduce muscle spasms. Hot tubs allow for broad areas of the body to be fully immersed in superficial heat therapy, Zeigler said. Hot tubs with jets are notable for their massaging effect, and water buoyancy may be a tool to help injured patients loosen muscles and slowly rebuild their range of motion and strength in the forgiving underwater environment, she said.
Much in the same way that hot tubs offer benefits for sports injuries, those with arthritis may also find relief from pain and stiffness with water therapy, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Increased circulation and free movement in the water make hot tubs an ideal environment for the safe exercise of sore joints and muscles.
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