Hot Tub Exercises for Arthritis Relief - Energy House (2022) (2022)

If you’re living with arthritis, you may feel as if you’re missing out on life. The chronic and acute pain of arthritis can prevent you from working, make your favorite activities impossible to enjoy, and may even cause you pain when you’re sitting or lying down. The good news is that exercise helps ease arthritis pain and stiffness. The stumbling block is that when your joints are already giving you trouble, your ability to exercise may seem limited. Hot tub therapy for arthritis relief—where the water supports you and the heat helps relax the joints—can help build strength and improve your flexibility and get you moving again. With a Hot Spring® spa at home, it’s easy to customize a daily routine of soaking, stretching and gentle exercise.

Moist heat is known to safely and effectively relieve arthritis pain and stiffness, and that is exactly the sort of heat a hot tub provides. Immersing yourself in warm water will relieve some of the pain and make starting exercise easier. The water will help support you, and its resistance to your movements will help you build strength. The combination of pain relief and buoyancy can make hot tub exercises a pleasant way to start or end your day.

BE PREPARED FOR THE HEAT OF A HOT TUB BEFORE BEGINNING WATER EXERCISES

One major advantage of warm water exercise for arthritis relief is, of course, the heat which improves blood flow and can help with joint flexibility. However, you need to take basic precautions to avoid overheating or getting dehydrated. Before going into your hot tub, be sure you drink enough water. You shouldn’t be thirsty or have a dry throat before climbing into the hot tub. Even if you are not feeling particularly thirsty, make the time to slowly drink a few glasses of water first. Stay hydrated and prevent overheating by bringing a bottle of cold water with you and keeping it on the spa bar top to drink as you work out.

It’s very important to start gently and find a water temperature that you feel comfortable with. You may need to set your hot tub to a relatively low 100° F to start. You may also need to warm yourself up slowly by entering the hot tub in stages and giving your body time to adjust by sitting on the bar top and warming your feet and legs and sliding into an elevated cooldown seat before fully immersing yourself. When you are immersed in the warm water, take time to fully stretch out before you begin your exercises.

ADD THESE SIMPLE HOT TUB STRETCHING EXERCISES TO YOUR ROUTINE

The type of hot tub exercises you do will depend on what type of arthritis you have and what joints it affects. However, all exercise routines, whether they’re in the water or not, should begin with thoroughly stretching your whole body.

It is important to note that when you are first starting out with stretches, you may not be able to fully extend or contract your arm, leg, or other body parts. This doesn’t mean that you aren’t experiencing a stretch, and it certainly doesn’t mean you should give up. You can consult with your doctor to better understand what is the appropriate amount of discomfort when stretching for arthritis , so you can avoid pushing yourself too far too fast.

There are many hot tub stretching exercises you can start with and add to your routine over time. Here are some basic stretches you can perform while seated in your home spa. Be sure to consult with your doctor before you begin with these stretches to understand your limitations and cautions.

  • Stretch the hands, wrists, elbows, and shoulders. Begin by interlacing your fingers with your palms facing towards you. Rotate your palms away from you and push your arms outward as far as you comfortably can; hold to the count of twenty. Take a few deep breaths and repeat twice more.
  • Place one hand behind the elbow of the opposite arm and extend that arm to its full length. Swing the outstretched arm toward its opposite shoulder and then in toward your chest. Optionally, you can also twist from your waist in the direction of the bent arm. Hold for twenty seconds. This will stretch your upper and lower back. Release and repeat with the other side.
  • While seated in a seat or lounge in the hot tub, place both hands underneath one of your thighs behind the knee. Keeping your back straight and tall, bring your knee as close to your chest as you can and hold for as long as you are comfortably able. Then, slowly release and repeat with the other leg.
  • Stretch your ankles and feet by stretching your legs out toward a wall of the hot tub and place your feet up against it. Gently push against the side with your toes until only the very tips of your toes are making contact and hold for a count of twenty. Release, wiggle your toes in the water, and repeat once or twice more.

Each stretch can be repeated until you are feeling fully limbered. Now, there is no hard and fast rule for how you can tell when you’ve done enough stretching. During the stretch itself, you should feel a gentle pull. When you release the stretch, you should feel a sense of greater relaxation in the muscles you’ve stretched. When dealing with arthritis, it’s especially important to get the most out of stretching. If you feel you need to do more of a particular stretch before proceeding to hot tub exercises, spend as much time as you need.

EFFECTIVE HOT TUB EXERCISES FOR ARTHRITIS RELIEF

Your body’s buoyancy in the water will help take some of the pressure off your joints as you exercise. Strengthening the muscles that surround the joints will also help to minimize joint stress and to better absorb shocks in everyday movement.

The best types of hot tub exercises for arthritis relief are gentle, using the water for resistance to help build strength gradually. When you keep your hands open and move your hands and feet turned perpendicular to the water, this will help to increase the resistance and build up your strength. A daily routine of steady, controlled movements is the key to effective exercise and arthritis pain relief both in the water and in daily life.

Here are some gentle hot tub exercises you can try. Once again, it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor first and adapt any exercises to your body.

  • For arm circles, extend your arms out to your sides until your upper body forms a T-shape. Rotate your shoulders forward so that your arms make gentle circles, dipping into the water with each rotation. Continue for 30 seconds, take a few deep breaths in between, and then reverse directions for another thirty seconds.
  • Sitting up straight on the edge of a seat, bend your elbows so that your forearms are at your sides and parallel to the bottom of the spa. Let your hands extend flat so your palms face the hot tub floor. Push your hands down until your fingertips point toward the bottom of the spa, and, keeping your hands extended, bring them back up to the starting position with forearms parallel to the floor. Slowly, do ten to fifteen repetitions.
  • With your shoulders submerged, extend your arms straight out to your sides with your hands extended. Swing one arm out straight in front of you and continue the movement until your fingertips come to meet your other hand—or as close as you are able. Slowly, unfold that straight arm back out to its starting position, and do the same with the other arm. Do ten to fifteen repetitions on each arm. Notice how, if you keep your thumbs always pointing up, you experience greater water resistance as your open hands push against the water.
  • Exercise your legs and abdominals with underwater flutter kicks. While seated, keep your legs underwater and extend them straight out. Do your best to keep them straight as you kick them one at a time as if you were swimming. Maintain these kicks for 30 seconds or until you become tired.
  • Bicycle crunches start off in the same position as flutter kicks. With both legs straight out from your seat, bend one leg and bring the knee in toward your chest as far as you are able. Return it slowly to straight and do the same with the other leg. Counting both leg movements as a single crunch, do ten to fifteen repetitions.

The hot tub exercises described above are an effective way to get moving while taking advantage of the water for resistance and strength building. They are meant to be performed as a circuit of exercises done in succession, two or three times total. You may include additional exercises in your workout as you improve. However, every person and their arthritis pain is different, and your workout should reflect your needs and endurance.

Work at your own pace, and if you find any exercise painful, stop and consult with your doctor before attempting it again. The key is to do what you can to improve your flexibility and reduce arthritis pain, so be mindful of your body’s limits as well as its progress.

A DAILY HOT TUB EXERCISE ROUTINE CAN HELP RELIEVE ARTHRITIS PAIN AND STIFFNESS

Remember to do what you can as often as you are comfortably able to. Improving arthritis pain and health is a gradual process that takes patience and requires doing range-of-motion exercises like stretching every day and strength-building exercises every other day.

You should, of course, tailor your exercise routine to how you feel on any given day. It may be beneficial for gradual arthritis relief to make time as often as possible for hot tub exercises. Set yourself up for success — a Hot Spring® spa at home will be ready when you are — to unleash your best self, every day.

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We design quality home hot tubs with innovative features such as touch screen controls and the FreshWater® Salt System to keep the spa ready and easy to use every day. Reach out to Energy House Fresno to find the perfect home spa for your hot tub exercise routine.

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FAQs

Is a hot tub good for arthritis? ›

Hot tubs and spas can help you cope with the pain and stiffness caused by arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation recommends warm water therapy, and research confirms its benefits.

Can hot tub help knee pain? ›

When you set the water jets of the hot tub, your entire body receives a gentle and soothing massage. There is very little pressure to cause knee pain to flare up, just the soft sensation of movement helping your blood flow properly and reducing joint stiffness.

Does stretching in a hot tub help? ›

Absolutely! Soaking in your Caldera ® hot tub can increase circulation, warm your muscles and increase your flexibility. Warm water hydrotherapy has long been shown to reduce pain and improve circulation. You can enhance your flexibility by doing some simple stretching while you soak each day.

Does stretching help arthritis? ›

“Stretching is helpful,” says Amy Ashmore, PhD, an exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise. Stretching particularly benefits those with arthritis by lubricating joints and enhancing and maintaining range-of-motion.

How long should a person be in a hot tub? ›

Ideally, you should aim to time your hot tub sessions to last between 15 and 30 minutes. Depending on the factors at play (i.e. water temperature), you might be able to extend your soak to 45 minutes. Keep in mind that you can always re-enter your hot tub later on!

Is hot tub good for stiff joints? ›

HOT TUB FOR ARTHRITIS BENEFITS. The warm water and massaging jets of your Hot Spring® spa can deliver wellness benefits that reach beyond relaxation. Hot tubbing can improve the quality of sleep, increase circulation, and manage pain – and research shows that making time for a daily soak can be good for arthritis.

Does hot tub reduce inflammation? ›

Hydrotherapy in a hot tub reduces inflammation from your muscles and eases soreness. Regular use of a hot tub can help you manage mild to severe inflammation caused by overuse. That means you'll experience less pain and enjoy better mobility.

Is hot tub good for hip pain? ›

A soak in your Hot Spring Spa can provide relief for hip pain caused by bursitis, an inflammation of a fluid sac at the joint.

How should I lay in the tub for back pain? ›

If the issue is tight or sore muscles, which can happen after overexertion, Healthline also suggests putting a tennis ball or a similarly sized rubber ball into the tub. Position it between your back and the side of the tub you are leaning against, and gently move back and forth.

Is hot tub good for low back pain? ›

Hot tubs are ideal for back pain because: The warm, soothing water promotes optimal blood circulation, which aids the healing effort. Hydrotherapy (especially a hot tub soak for lower back pain) also diminishes the pain sensory signals sent from your back to the brain.

How do you exercise in a hot tub? ›

Sit in the spa with your legs toward the center, hold the edge of the seat with both hands, and elevate your legs, keeping them in the water. Make a pedaling motion as if you're riding a bicycle. Pedal for 30 seconds, alternating speeds for a better workout, then take a break and repeat as desired.

Should you massage arthritic joints? ›

Massage can help different forms of arthritis in specific ways. For example, if you are living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), massage can improve healthy circulation throughout the arthritic joints, reducing swelling and improving quality of life. Avoid massages on affected joints during an RA flare up, however.

What is the best exercise for someone with arthritis? ›

Low-impact aerobic activities do not put stress on the joints and include brisk walking, cycling, swimming, water aerobics, light gardening, group exercise classes, and dancing.

What kind of massage is best for arthritis? ›

Any type of full-body massage therapy that involves moderate pressure, including self-massage, should help relieve arthritis pain and ease tension, she says.

Is it OK to hot tub everyday? ›

When shopping for hot tubs, many people will ask their dealers 'Can I use a hot tub every day? ' The short answer is that yes, it is safe to use your hot tub every day.

Who should not get in a hot tub? ›

People who are ages 50 and older, have weakened immune systems and/or identify as former smokers should consider not using a hot tub or even sitting near one, says the CDC.

Are hot tubs good for seniors? ›

Hot tubs pose health risks for the elderly because they can breed infection-causing bacteria. They also are dangerous for seniors with high (or low) blood pressure, diabetes, or heart conditions. Elders with chronic lung problems or who take certain medications should also avoid using hot tubs.

Do hot tubs raise blood pressure? ›

"The high temperatures in a warm tub or sauna cause your blood vessels to dilate, which lowers blood pressure," says Dr. Adolph Hutter, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. The volume of blood your heart pumps will also rise, especially in a hot tub.

How long is too long in a hot tub? ›

While this temperature is safe for healthy adults, you should remain immersed for no more than 20 minutes at a time.

Can someone with high blood pressure go in a hot tub? ›

Don't use a hot tub or sauna if you are experiencing extremely high blood pressure (higher than 180 for the top number or 110 for the lower number). This is considered a hypertensive crisis and you should seek immediate medical help. Use the hot tub or sauna for a brief time only—about 10 to 15 minutes per session.

Can hot tubs make arthritis worse? ›

And so for many people at home, you know, being able to soak in hot tubs can be helpful for pain. Contrary, for people with rheumatoid arthritis, where there's more inflammation and swelling, actually hydrotherapy can make that worse.

What vitamin is good for sore joints? ›

Vitamin D is important for keeping bones strong and preventing injuries from falls. Research shows that people with low levels of vitamin D may have more joint pain.

Do hot tubs make inflammation worse? ›

The researchers found that a single hot water immersion caused a spike of interleukin — a marker of inflammation.

Which is better for arthritis hot tub or sauna? ›

Another benefit of heat therapy found in saunas and hot tubs is the relief of soreness from exertion or pain from arthritis. Most say that a hot tub is better for these purposes because of the weightless effect of the water and the ability to direct the pressure of water jets where they are most needed.

Will sitting in a hot tub help you lose weight? ›

“Do hot tubs burn calories?” While hot tub weight loss might sound kooky, research has found that lounging for an hour in a hot bath burns the same number of calories as a half-hour walk. Say what now? No lie.

Should I shower after hot tub? ›

Shower Off Afterward

Use warm water and soap to wash away any lingering chlorine or other chemicals. Don't use hot water, which can strip away some of the natural protection the outer surface of the skin provides and leave you vulnerable to irritants and dryness.

What helps knee and hip pain? ›

Treating pain with heat and cold may help. Wrap an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables in a towel to ice your knee or hip. A warm bath or shower may also help reduce your pain and prepare your muscles for stretching. Over-the-counter pain relievers.

What causes hip pain that radiates down the leg? ›

Sciatica. This one is often the most common cause of hip pain being funneled down your leg. Sciatica refers to the sciatic nerve that runs between your hip and down each leg. To be exact, it runs down the back or your hip and the front, back, and sides of your leg.

Should I stretch after hot tub? ›

After heating your muscles, it is best to stretch those warm muscles before your workout. Stretching gently in the hot tub can also help you relax those muscles. If you use a hot tub before you exercise, remember to stay hydrated.

What can I soak my body in for pain? ›

Epsom salts have been used for hundreds of years to ease all kinds of aches, pains, and skin troubles. A simple soak in the tub may help you feel better.

Why does my body ache after hot tub? ›

It's lactic acid that, more often than not, is responsible for the soreness that we experience after a workout. If the muscles don't get enough oxygen when they're being worked then lactic acid is created. This acid can be burned as energy but when it's not the result is muscle pain and soreness.

Is hot tub good for sciatica? ›

Hot tubs, with jets, are ideal for most sciatica cases. Due to the thickness of the tissue in the buttocks, the heat will not have any circulatory effect on the nerve or the piriformis muscle, but it will be neurologically sedative. The vibration of jets will amplify that effect.

Does hot tub help bulging disc? ›

These include: Heat therapy. Heat therapy, especially moist heat (such as the heat from a warm bath, Jacuzzi, or hot tub), can promote blood flow to the spine, relax tense or spasming muscles, and promote relaxation. A hot water bottle or heat pack on the back or neck can also help with pain.

How many calories do you burn in a hot tub? ›

How many calories does a hot tub burn? It turns out that a one-hour hot bath can burn the same number of calories (140) as a 30-minute walk, according to a 2017 study led by Dr. Faulkner at Loughborough University in London.

What is hot tub Yoga? ›

Essentially, hot tub yoga is the art of performing yoga poses within the comfort of a warm Jacuzzi-like spa, and the practice is gaining in popularity worldwide. One need not be an athlete to enjoy the benefits of yoga—although the practice is widely popular with athletes on both amateur and professional levels.

Can Vicks Vapor Rub help arthritis pain? ›

Vicks VapoRub is said to provide relief when your joints ache from overuse, injury or arthritis. The camphor does the hard work here as an analgesic that soothes nerve endings and relieves joint pain. You simply massage it directly into the skin around the joints that are causing discomfort.

Are vibrating massagers good for arthritis? ›

Vibration therapy can offer soothing relief from arthritis and other ailments. Millions of Americans live with arthritis, inflammation and other problems that affect the bones or joints. These can be painful and limit your ability to do your job or enjoy your favorite hobbies.

Is vibration good for arthritis? ›

Whole body vibration may help improve strength and function in patients with knee osteoarthritis and may even slow disease progression.

How do you stop stiffness in old age? ›

3 ways to prevent joint stiffness
  1. Manage your weight. Excess body weight strains joints—particularly knees. ...
  2. Keep moving. Joints are meant to be used, but if we don't warm up before exercising and stretch often to avoid getting stiff, we'll be creaking like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz. ...
  3. Remember to pace yourself.

What foods can make arthritis worse? ›

Here are eight foods known to contribute to inflammation and the aggravation of your arthritis symptoms.
  • Sweets. Consuming too much sugar increases inflammation in your body. ...
  • Dairy. ...
  • Fatty foods. ...
  • Carbohydrates. ...
  • Tobacco and alcohol. ...
  • Advanced glycation end (AGE) products. ...
  • Gluten. ...
  • Additives.

Does drinking water help arthritis? ›

Staying hydrated is vital when you live with arthritis. Hydration is key for flushing toxins out of your body, which can help fight inflammation, and well-hydrated cartilage reduces the rate of friction between bones, meaning you can move more easily.

Can a chiropractor help arthritis? ›

For some forms of arthritis, like osteoarthritis that can cause pain in the spine, chiropractic care is typically a safe and effective treatment. However, for arthritic conditions caused by an inflammatory disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, care must be exercised.

What causes a flare up of arthritis? ›

The most common triggers of an OA flare are overdoing an activity or trauma to the joint. Other triggers can include bone spurs, stress, repetitive motions, cold weather, a change in barometric pressure, an infection or weight gain.

How do you prevent arthritis from getting worse? ›

Slowing Osteoarthritis Progression
  1. Maintain a Healthy Weight. Excess weight puts additional pressure on weight-bearing joints, such as the hips and knees. ...
  2. Control Blood Sugar. ...
  3. Get Physical. ...
  4. Protect Joints. ...
  5. Choose a Healthy Lifestyle.

Does a hot tub reduce inflammation? ›

Hydrotherapy in a hot tub reduces inflammation from your muscles and eases soreness. Regular use of a hot tub can help you manage mild to severe inflammation caused by overuse. That means you'll experience less pain and enjoy better mobility.

Is using a hot tub good for osteoarthritis? ›

Hot tubs combine heat therapy and hydrotherapy, both of which may help alleviate arthritis pain and loosen stiff joints.

Does hot tub help with osteoarthritis? ›

HOT TUB FOR ARTHRITIS BENEFITS. The warm water and massaging jets of your Hot Spring ® spa can deliver wellness benefits that reach beyond relaxation. Hot tubbing can improve the quality of sleep, increase circulation, and manage pain – and research shows that making time for a daily soak can be good for arthritis.

Does heat make arthritis worse? ›

Summer and arthritis explained.

If your arthritis seems to flare up in summer, you're not alone, and you can blame the heat and humidity. The hotter it is outside, the more your body will be susceptible to swelling. The more prone to swelling you are, the more pain you will have.

Is it OK to hot tub everyday? ›

When shopping for hot tubs, many people will ask their dealers 'Can I use a hot tub every day? ' The short answer is that yes, it is safe to use your hot tub every day.

Which is better for arthritis hot tub or sauna? ›

Another benefit of heat therapy found in saunas and hot tubs is the relief of soreness from exertion or pain from arthritis. Most say that a hot tub is better for these purposes because of the weightless effect of the water and the ability to direct the pressure of water jets where they are most needed.

Will sitting in a hot tub help you lose weight? ›

“Do hot tubs burn calories?” While hot tub weight loss might sound kooky, research has found that lounging for an hour in a hot bath burns the same number of calories as a half-hour walk. Say what now? No lie.

Will a hot tub help hip pain? ›

A soak in your Hot Spring Spa can provide relief for hip pain caused by bursitis, an inflammation of a fluid sac at the joint.

Is hot tub good for hip osteoarthritis? ›

Are hot tubs good for arthritis and joint pain? Jenn explains: “In essence, yes. The warmth and buoyancy of the water can help you cope with the pain and stiffness caused by different types of arthritis. “Additionally, being in water supports your weight, which helps relieve pain and increase movement.

Are hot tubs good for fibromyalgia? ›

Soaking in warm water and exercise are among the many ways to reduce the intensity and frequency of fibromyalgia symptoms. Relaxing in a hot tub is a well-known way to ease muscular stiffness and soreness. Additionally, a routine soak can also help relieve stress; an intensifier of fibromyalgia symptoms.

Does a hot tub help with neuropathy? ›

If you are living with diabetes, you know well that you can experience numbness or tingling in your toes from neuropathy. Hot tub soaks will get that circulation and relief to them and help stave off that unpleasant numb/tingly feeling for a time.

Is hot tub good for swollen knee? ›

Heat Therapy

Heat can be used for chronic pain or injuries that are no longer swollen. If you use heat on a swollen area, it can increase inflammation. This will prevent your injury from healing. Moist heat, like hot showers, saunas, steam baths, hot baths, or just warm damp towels, can help loosen tight muscles.

What aggravates arthritis the most? ›

The most common triggers of an OA flare are overdoing an activity or trauma to the joint. Other triggers can include bone spurs, stress, repetitive motions, cold weather, a change in barometric pressure, an infection or weight gain. Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is an inflammatory disease that affects the skin and joints.

What weather is best for arthritis? ›

According to Professor Karen Walker-Bone, professor of occupational rheumatology at the University of Southampton, people with osteoarthritis generally prefer warm and dry weather, while those with rheumatoid arthritis tend to prefer the cooler weather.

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