Hot tubs offer so much more than a place to relax after a long hard day. The right spa can bring blessed relief from aches and tight muscles and can even help alleviate the discomfort of chronic back pain. Especially when paired with hot tub stretches!
The Arthritis Foundation describes hydrotherapy, also known as warm water immersion, as one of the most effective ways to treat musculoskeletal conditions such as low back pain. So, if you’re one of the 65 million Americans suffering from occasional or chronic back pain, a daily dose of hydrotherapy could be just what the doctor ordered.
One of the best ways to use hydrotherapy to benefit your health, is through stretching and movement. In this article, we take a closer look at the best hot tub stretches for back pain and what you can do to get started!
What is Hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy is an ancient holistic practice used to bring relief from pain, including occasional and chronic back issues. Immersion in the heated waters of your spa helps to loosen tight muscles while increasing healing blood flow to weak areas of the body. That improvement in circulation helps to reduce swelling while lessening muscle pain and stress on joints.
The Benefits of Hot Tub Stretches
Stretching in heated water allows the body to rely on the water’s buoyancy to achieve a wider range of motion. Your body bears only 20 percent of its weight in the water, making stretching and balance both easier and safer.
The Best Spa Stretches for Back Pain
1. The Baby Stretch
Stand in your hot tub with your feet flat on the floor and grasp the edge of your spa. Once you’re comfortably balanced, push your hips back, tightening your tummy and keeping your back flat. Push backward until you feel the stretch through your back and hips. Hold for at least 10 seconds and repeat twice.
2. Torso Twists
Weak abdominal muscles can play a part in lower back pain. That’s why strengthening and stretching your core can really help alleviate the problem. The torso twist offers the best of both worlds — and it’s easy to do. Sit or stand in your spa, arms tightly at your sides and raise your lower arms up into a bicep curl. Hold that position, tighten your ab muscles and twist your torso slowly right and left. Hold each twist for three to five seconds and try to do 20 twists on each side.
3. Hamstring Stretch
Another contributing factor in lower back pain is tight leg muscles. So, even though this stretch seems like it would be more effective for your legs, it can bring relief to tense back muscles too. Start by sitting comfortably in your spa, spine in a neutral position. Stretch one leg out in front of you, flex your foot and lean forward at the hips, stretching your arm toward your toes. You don’t have to grasp your toes, rather lean forward to the point of tension. Hold for 10 seconds and then switch legs. The stretch down the back of your leg can help release tightness in your hips and back.
4. Lateral Trunk Stretch
Sit comfortably in your spa and raise one arm over your head, placing your other hand on your thigh for support. Bend slowly to the opposite side until you feel a comfortable stretch along your ribcage. This move elongates your spine and helps to loosen tight muscles around it. Do the move on both sides holding each stretch for 20 seconds.
5. Figure 4 Stretch
While seated in your spa, cross one leg on top of the other, ankle resting on the opposite knee. Place one hand on the knee of the crossed leg and lean your torso forward, pressing on the crossed knee until you feel a good stretch through your hip and bottom. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds and repeat three times on each side.
Safety Tips for Hot Tub Stretches
Be sure to receive your doctor’s approval before beginning any stretching regime. Also, it’s important to breathe slowly and evenly, keep your knees soft rather than locked and hold the stretch without bouncing.
Tubs of Fun
If you’re ready to experience all of the healing benefits that a spa can offer, get in touch with us at Tubs of Fun. As a provider of the best hot tubs in North Dakota, we sell only the highest-quality spas. Drop in at our Fargo showroom to see our hot tubs for sale or to talk to one of our experts.