4 Ways Hot Tubs Relieve Shoulder and Neck Pain from Summer Activities
Summer is the time we become more active, enjoying the outdoors, exerting our muscles and putting added pressure on our joints. Beyond the normal day-to-day aches and pains, summertime ushers in shoulder and neck pain from mountain biking, swimming, gardening, lawn care and other outdoor activities.
Are we destined to be in pain all season or live our life on ibuprofen?
Not if you have a hot tub. Consider all the ways hot tubs aid with the injuries common during the summer.
- Deep Heat
Hot tubs start with heat, which scientific research has proven to relieve non-inflammatory muscle pain, just the kind that results from exertion. Heat therapy increases blood flow, which speeds healing to affected tissues. Faster circulation removes the metabolic waste and lactic acid from muscles that interfere with recovery.
The heat itself also produces an analgesic effect, which is another way of saying it eases the pain. That in turn reverses the body’s response to pain, often in the form of a spasm or knotting. Heat is good.
But deep heat is better, and that’s the kind produced when hot water is involved. Water penetrates deeper than air – 27 times better – because water conducts heat so much better than air does.
- The Other Advantage of Hydrotherapy
Soaking your muscles in a hot tub takes pressure off your muscles by supporting them with buoyancy. Gravity pulls us towards the Earth, but because water is denser than air it exerts a compensating upward force against our bodies, which we call buoyancy. The result is less overall pressure on our muscles and joints.
- Ahhhhh … Massage
The heat and hydrotherapy loosen our muscles, speed relief to them, take the edge off the pain and generally relax us. If they were the only advantages of a hot tub, it would be worth the investment. But it’s only the beginning.
Hot tubs provide invigorating massage from their many jets, shooting water strategically from the walls, seats and floor, applying direct pressure to an overused muscle group. By positioning the body so that the shoulders and neck receive pulses of shooting water, anyone feeling sore from a weekend of summertime exertion can maximize the massage power of a hot tub.
These jets work much the same way as a manual massage, kneading out knots in muscles and deepening the stimulation that leads to increased blood flow and pain relief.
- Stretching in a Hot Tub
Gentle stretching after a workout is therapeutic for muscles and joints, and it’s even better in a hot tub, as the heat and hydrotherapy prepare muscles for stretching. Combining the two extends range of motion and lengthens contracted muscles. In fact, research has shown that a regular regimen of simple neck stretches is as effective in relieving pain as chiropractic care, and far more effective than a doctor-prescribed drug regime – without the side effects.
Twenty minutes of hot tub therapy once each morning loosens muscles in preparation for those outdoor activities. A second 20-minute soak in the evening refreshes the body and provides relief from overuse or injury. Hot tubs are a great adjunct to any summer plans of fun in the sun.
To learn more about the benefits of hot tub use, visit Hanson HotSpring Spas’ showroom at 1835 Dublin Blvd in Colorado Springs or see them online at HansonSpa.com.
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