If you have lower back pain, you know it can be not only frustrating but downright debilitating.
Since we rely on our backs to support us while sitting, standing, walking and everything in between, an aching back puts a damper on everyday life.
While a number of remedies exist, one of the most pleasant and therapeutic can be accessed right in your own backyard: a hot tub.
Here, we’ll show you how a hot tub can reduce your lower back pain, all while providing rest, relaxation and other health benefits.
Causes of Lower Back Pain
Although nearly everyone has experienced lower back pain at some point, it may be for vastly different reasons.
After all, lower back pain can be caused by everything from herniated discs to infections. However, some of the most common culprits behind lower back pain are:
- Injured or strained muscles.
- A pinched nerve.
All three of those common causes can be treated with the help of a hot tub. That’s because heat therapy can soothe muscles, joints and nerves alike.
How a Hot Tub Can Help
Whether your back pain stems from a temporary injury or a chronic condition, a hot tub can help reduce your pain and encourage healing.
That’s because the toasty water of a hot tub comes with a number of proven physical benefits.
- Relaxation of sore, tight muscles.
- Reduced pressure on aching joints.
- Increased blood flow for faster healing.
Those benefits aren’t just theoretical, either. Several peer-reviewed studies have backed them up, including one published in the Australian Journal of Physiotherapy in 1991.
The study, titled: “Hydrotherapy and chronic lower back pain: A pilot study,” examined the effects of warm water therapy on patients with recurring lower back pain.
At the end of the study, 74 percent of the participants reported a reduction in their pain levels, and none reported an increase.
So, if you suffer from either chronic or situational lower back pain, chances are that a hot tub can give you the relief you need.
3 Tips for Treating Your Lower Back Pain With a Hot Tub
To ensure that you see the best possible results, consider these three tips before jumping in the hot tub:
1. See a Physician
A professional physician can provide you with the information you need to effectively treat your lower back pain.
For instance, they can tell you if the pain you’re experiencing is due to an injury, a chronic condition or something else. Then, they’ll be able to help you customize your hot tub regimen for your particular condition.
2. Take It Easy
The hydrotherapy provided by hot tubs is indisputably beneficial in many ways. However, you don’t want to irritate your lower back even further by exposing it to excess heat over a prolonged period of time.
So, when you’re first starting to use your hot tub for your back pain, keep the temperature a few degrees below the maximum and limit your sessions to 15 minutes.
Once your body gets used to the treatment, you can increase the temperature and time limit as needed.
3. Consider Cold Therapy, Too
To complement the therapeutic effects of your hot tub, you can also soothe your lower back pain with cold therapy (click here to learn more about the benefits of hot and cold spa treatment).
While hot water increases blood flow and promotes relaxation, a cold treatment like an ice pack can reduce inflammation and numb nerve endings.
In general, cold therapy should be used after your soak in the hot tub. This way, your lower back will relax and get plenty of circulation before being numbed by a cold treatment.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to curb your lower back pain and speed up the healing process from the comfort of your hot tub.