If you’re one of the 65 million Americans suffering from occasional or chronic back pain, the cure for what ails you could be found right in your back yard. Hot tub therapy, or hydrotherapy, has been found to be a very effective treatment for back pain. In fact, the Arthritis Foundation describes hydrotherapy as one of the most successful ways to treat musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis and low back pain. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best and most effective stretches for back pain that can be done in your hot tub.
What is Hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy is a practice that dates back to ancient times and has been used to offer relief from a wide array of issues including occasional and chronic back pain.
Immersion in heated water helps to relax tense muscles while improving circulation of blood to vulnerable areas. That increased blood flow works to diminish swelling and ease muscle pain and stress on joints.
Why Stretch in Your Spa?
No matter what is causing your back to hurt, stretching in your hot tub can bring some relief, particularly when done on a regular basis.
Underwater stretching is very effective because the buoyancy of the water gives you a wider range of motion, allowing you to stretch much more effectively than you’d be able to on land. In the water, your body bears only 20 percent of its weight, making stretching and balancing far easier.
The Best Stretches for Back Pain:
1. The Baby Stretch
Stand in the middle area of your hot tub, feet flat on the floor. Holding on to the edge of your spa, push your hips backward, keeping your back flat and stomach muscles tight. As you push back, you should feel the stretch through your back and hips. Hold the move for 10-20 seconds and repeat at least two times.
2. Hamstring Stretch
Did you know lower back pain can be caused by tight muscles in your legs? To determine if that is an issue for you, massage the back and sides of your legs with firm pressure. If it hurts, you’re a good candidate for this stretch. Sit comfortably in your spa, spine straight but relaxed. Stretch one leg out in front of you and flex your foot toward your shin. Lean forward at the hips and stretch your arm toward your toes. Hold for 10 seconds and then switch legs. You’ll feel this stretch down the back of your leg and through your hips and back.
3. Torso Twists
A weak core can also be a contributing factor to back pain. Torso twists offer toning and stretching all in one move, making them a great exercise for your spa. You can sit or stand for this exercise depending on your preference or ability. Hold your arms tightly to your sides, raise your lower arms up into a bicep curl and hold them there. Tighten your stomach muscles and twist left. Hold the move for three to five seconds and then twist right. Repeat for at least 20 twists on each side.
4. Cat Stretch
The cat stretch is a yoga move that gives you a good stretch along your entire spine. To perform this move in your hot tub, sit up straight, resting your hands on your knees. Round your back until you feel tightness and hold for five seconds, being sure to breathe evenly. Repeat this stretch at least 10 times.
5. Side Stretch
This move is a great way to gently extend your spine while stretching the muscles surrounding it. Stand in your spa, arms raised your above your head, hands clasped together. Stretch up and then over to the left, feeling a stretch down your arm, into your side and through your hip. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides.
Before doing any type of exercise, it’s important to consult your health care provider. If your doctor gives you the green light to add some stretching to your hot tub routine, stretch only to the point of tension, not pain. When stretching, be sure not to bounce and to breathe deeply and evenly.
Omaha Hot Tubs
If you need the healing power a hot tub has to offer, come visit us at Omaha Hot Tub Company, your one-stop hot tub store in Nebraska. Whether you’re looking for a premium Home Leisure hot tub or want to learn more about hot tub features, our experts can help. Drop-in at our Papillion showroom to learn more about hot tub prices and how we can help you find the perfect spa for your budget.