How Do Hot Tubs Fight Inflammation?
Hot tubs have been used for therapeutic purposes for centuries. The hot tubs of the ancients may not resemble the apparatuses we have access to today, but their function remains fundamentally the same. If you’re suffering pain due to overwork, injury, infection or disease, inflammation is likely the cause of your misery. Spending time in a hot tub can help temporarily relieve the pain that’s symptomatic of inflammation. So, how do hot tubs fight inflammation? To answer that question we’ve put together this article.
What Causes Inflammation?
Inflammation is caused by the body’s reaction to cellular damage. This damage can be the result of injury, disease, infection by viruses or bacteria, exposure to chemicals or radiation and more. Symptoms of inflammation include swelling, redness, warmth in the affected area and joint pain or stiffness. Flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, loss of appetite, fever, chills and stiffness can also occur. Inflammation can last for short periods (known as acute inflammation) or last for months or years (known as chronic inflammation.) Acute inflammation is typically caused by infection and injury whereas chronic inflammation is usually accompanied by disease.
How Does Using A Hot Tub Fight Inflammation?
It’s the properties of the hot tub’s water that help combat inflammation. Heat, massage and buoyancy all play roles in reducing the pain associated with inflammation. The characteristics of the hot tub water cause physical and physiological transformations in the body that fight the effects of inflammation. We’ve listed here some of the ways that soaking in a hot tub can help.
The heat from the hot tub’s water increases the body temperature. This causes the heart to pump harder and the blood flow to speed up. Blood vessels dilate and tissues are bathed in more nutrient-rich plasma. The body’s metabolism is also raised. This improves the healing process and stimulates the production of pain-relieving hormones. Nerve endings are soothed and fewer pain indicators are relayed to the brain. Heat is also a natural muscle relaxant that reduces pressure on bones, tendons and joints. The increased body temperature caused by spending time in a hot tub opens several pathways to pain relief.
As the water jets massage the body tissues, pleasure-causing hormones are produced. These block pain receptors and reduce the amount of pain signals sent to the brain. Massage will also promote blood flow and bathe the inflamed areas in oxygen and nutrient-saturated blood. The healing process is energized, new cell growth is promoted and waste and by-products are disposed of.
Inflamed joints are often exacerbated by friction and pressure. Water buoyancy counteracts this by providing upwards pressure that minimizes the effects of gravity. This lifts weight off the joints and bones and reduces the strain that aggravates inflammation. For those who have reduced mobility due to inflammatory symptoms, water buoyancy can facilitate movements that are difficult to perform on dry land. Exercise and movement have been found to reduce inflammation.
Poor sleep habits have been found to increase pain and the symptoms of inflammation. Spending time in a hot tub, however, has been found to help improve sleeping habits. The body temperature follows a cycle that causes the brain to feel tired when the internal temperature drops. It’s possible to simulate this cycle by soaking in a hot tub shortly before wanting to go to sleep. As the body cools off after getting out of the hot tub, the brain is induced to feel tired. Those who suffer from symptoms due to inflammation may be able to improve their sleeping patterns by using a hot tub to help them fall asleep.
Now that you have a better understanding of how a hot tub can help fight inflammation, download a free buyer’s guide for more information.