The recovery process following a muscle or joint injury is completely dependent on your unique state of health. Everyone heals differently, which is why it’s so important to speak with your physician before using hot tub hydrotherapy to heal following an injury. Your best health is always the most important, after all. With consent from your physician, hot tub hydrotherapy can help your body heal for a few different reasons.
Buoyancy is a property of water that creates the feeling of weightlessness. It lifts pressure and the weight from your body, bringing your body to the surface and allowing you to move freely as though you are floating. In fact, buoyancy lifts about 75-90% of your body weight when your body and shoulders are fully submerged.
Buoyancy can help you heal following a muscle or joint injury by lifting the weight from the affected and surrounding or supporting areas. This will provide your body with a much-needed and well-deserved break. As the weight of the world is lifted from your shoulders, your body will finally have a chance to fully relax and release built-up tension created by supporting and protecting the area.
MOBILIZE AND STRENGTHEN
The combination of heat, buoyancy, and massage can create an environment that’s perfect for some low-impact exercise, especially while your body is still healing, and you are taking it slow. While weight is lifted from your body and heat is helping your muscles to relax, you can take some time to move the affected area freely. This environment can also help to reduce the risk of injury while mobilizing and strengthening your body, as there are fewer obstructions than within a gym and if you were to slip and fall, the water would help to support your body.
Your state of health and injury will depict what sort of exercise you can engage in. Walking in place, floating, treading, and/or stretching might be the perfect introductory activities for you as you get started. As your body begins to grow stronger and can handle more activity, including a variety of yoga poses or low-impact exercises might be the right next step. So long as your activities are approved by your physician or supervised by a physiotherapist, you are likely on the right track.
Often when a person sustains an injury, surrounding muscles and joints will work together to support and protect the affected area. This can cause additional pain, tension and strain on the entire area. Muscles and joints are given a chance to relax during each hot tub hydrotherapy session, as built-up stress and tension are relieved with help from the jets.
This feeling of pain relief can stem far beyond the four walls of your hot tub. In fact, feelings of pain relief and rejuvenation can be felt long after one exits the water. Since you’ll be much more likely to move around without feelings of pain, your balance, flexibility and overall mobility will likely be improved as well.
The heat of the water can help to improve your circulation. This will help oxygen and blood cells to better reach the injured area of the body. Not only that, but the natural production of feel-good endorphins will be improved as well. These endorphins can help reduce feelings of stress, pain, and anxiety, helping you to feel better overall.
STATE OF MIND
There’s no doubt about it, soaking in a hot tub can help you to feel refreshed and rejuvenated. You’ll likely have reduced feelings of stress and anxiety, experience better sleep patterns, suffer from fewer aches and pains, and so much more. While recovering from an injury, feeling good mentally and physically is imperative to the quality of your healing process. The better you feel and the happier you are, the more motivated you will be to get better.
Not to mention that the hot tub also provides a great environment for social interaction. While recovering from an injury you might agree that it’s not as easy to get out and about as it once was. If friends and family are coming to you to spend quality time together, why not do it in the hot tub? You can listen to music, watch a movie or simply chat and spend time together, all while your body rests and heals.