Are Hot Tubs Good For Arthritis? 2024 Health Advice

Posted by Alex Clamp in Buying on 16th March 2023

More than 10 million people have arthritis or similar conditions that affect the joints in the UK today.

Luckily, soaking in a hot tub can provide arthritis sufferers with much-needed relief from muscle tension, stiff joints, and even severe pain.

So, if you or a loved one suffers from joint swelling and pain of any kind – not just osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis – then a daily routine soak in the warm water of your home spa could be just what the doctor ordered.

Here’s a quick rundown of the many benefits home spas bring to those unfortunate enough to suffer from arthritis – as well as a rundown of the best hot tubs for easing joint pain and inflammation.

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Six reasons hot tubs are good for arthritis

Hot tub hydrotherapy is a common arthritis treatment that – unlike common prescription medication that’s used for the condition – doesn’t have any negative side effects.

Oh, and soaking in a home spa, and getting a gentle massage from the pulsating jets isn’t the worst way to spend your time.

Also, be sure to view our video interview with Dr Esther Fox PhD MCSP about the benefits that hot tub hydrotherapy can provide for people suffering from arthritis pain:

Here’s exactly how a hot tub can help you manage the symptoms of arthritis:

are hot tubs good for arthritis

1. Pain relief

If you or one of your nearest and dearest suffers from arthritis, you’ll be glad to hear that relaxing in a hot tub has been scientifically proven to relieve arthritic joint pain.

The reason is that it’s an accessible and very enjoyable form of hot water therapy (also known as hydrotherapy, heat therapy, and warm water therapy). In study after study, hot water therapy has proven to be an effective arthritis treatment. In fact, it’s recommended by both Arthritis Research UK and the Arthritis Foundation.

While your home spa won’t cure your arthritis, in a study of the effects of hydrotherapy on people with severe arthritis, soaking in hot water was shown to provide more effective pain relief than drug therapy. Another study revealed that warm water therapy reduced pain and stiffness in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Are you after effective and reliable relief from arthritic joint pain without any side effects? Get a hot tub to enjoy the pain-relieving benefits of hot water therapy every day.

2. Stress relief

Having to live with chronic pain can cause plenty of stress and anxiety. Luckily, a daily dip in your hot tub can become your time to unwind and escape those stresses.

Not only will a welcome respite from joint pain help boost your mood, but studies have shown that heat therapy can give you a psychological and emotional boost, making it a powerful way to stave off stress.

And a reliable way to blow off some steam and relieve stress can make a huge difference to the quality of life of anyone who suffers from arthritis.

3. Better sleep

A good night’s sleep can be hard to come by when you struggle with chronic pain. And never being able to catch up on your shut-eye can have a serious impact on your stress levels, mental health, and even your immune system.

Luckily, a soak in your home spa before bed each evening can help you fall asleep soundly. Not only will it help relieve your pain before you hit the hay, but a study of insomniacs revealed that soaking in hot water before bedtime leads to deeper, more restful, and more continuous sleep.

4. Weight loss

If you’re carrying a few extra pounds, losing weight is an NHS-recommended method of managing mild osteoarthritis symptoms. And while we all know regular exercise is one of the most effective ways to maintain a healthy weight, that’s unfortunately off the cards for most suffering from arthritis pain.

Fortunately, a study has shown that soaking in a hot tub for an hour burns around the same calories as a 30-minute walk. While that’s unlikely to make a major impact on your waistline, every little helps – particularly for anyone who finds it hard to exercise due to pain and stiffness.

5. Resistance-free exercise

It can be hard to keep up any exercise routine when you suffer from arthritis since the condition affects your mobility so badly – not to mention makes it painful to move.

But in a hot tub, your body weight is reduced by about 90 per cent by the buoyancy of the water, making you feel weightless. This helps relieve pressure on your whole body and alleviate joint stiffness, making it the perfect place for those that suffer from arthritis to perform some gentle stretches.

This will not only help loosen stiff joints and manage pain but also improve your circulation, blood flow – and overall health.

6. Painkilling massage

A hot tub’s carefully placed massaging jets will stimulate your sore muscles and target your pressure points, sending endorphins – the body’s natural painkiller – surging through your body to help manage painful symptoms.

Combined with the heat of the water, this will provide effective relief from the chronic pain that plagues anyone unfortunate enough to suffer from arthritis.

And as far as arthritis treatments go, slipping into a hot tub for a massage isn’t half bad.

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Does a hot tub reduce inflammation?

When you have arthritis, even gentle exercise can become a struggle. So, while it’s only natural to get out and about a bit less, this, unfortunately, reduces your circulation, which leads to inflammation.

The good news is that a hot tub’s warm water and pulsating massage jets will improve your circulation, soothing your swelling joints and improving your mobility for hours after you’ve hopped out of your hot tub.

What is the best hot tub for arthritis?

Are hot tubs good for arthritis? Absolutely! And any hot tubs supplied by a WhatSpa? approved brand will help you alleviate arthritis pain by regularly allowing you to enjoy hot tub therapy from the comfort of your own home.

So, follow the advice in our hot tub buying guide and you’re bound to find a quality hot tub that can dramatically improve your quality.

However, some spas relieve arthritic pain more effectively than others.

For example, a lounger hot tub will allow you to stretch out for a full-body massage for even more effective relief from joint pain and inflammation.

It’s also well worth sinking your hot tub so it’s as easy as possible to get in and out of, as well as having hot tub housing fitted so stepping out of your spa isn’t quite as big of a shock to the system in the colder months.

To make sure you get the right hot tub for you, pick up your free copy of the latest edition of WhatSpa? magazine for our shortlist of best buys on the market today.

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About the author

Alex Clamp

I am the Content Writer and Marketing Officer at WhatSpa? Magazine. I have worked at WhatSpa? for over 8 years, and I recently graduated with Distinction from Northumbria University with a Master's degree in Occupational and Organizational Psychology. My role at WhatSpa? is to ensure that all hot tub lovers can easily access the highest quality and most up-to-date content, news and information from within the UK wet leisure industry.

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