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Is A Hot Tub Good For Arthritis?


Let’s not go around the bush here. The answer to the question, is a hot tub good for arthritis, is a resounding “yes”. The scientific community has found proof that soaking in hot water can help relieve joint and muscle pains effectively, much like what was done in ancient times.

While popping a pill is an easy way to treat your condition, soaking in a hot tub takes the experience to the next level and even has a lasting and beneficial effect.

More than 25% of adults in North America have been diagnosed with arthritis, which includes both elderly and young people alike. A positive attitude and mood play a major part in coping with this condition. And this is just one of the underlying reasons why a hot tub is great for arthritis.

We’ll reveal to you more proof of its effectiveness in this article, along with exercises that you can use while soaking. In the later section, we’ll also be giving you recommendations on the hot tubs that you can easily install at home. We desire to help get you started in this enjoyable way of providing relief to arthritic pain.

How Is A Hot Tub Good For Arthritis?

Since ancient times, people use hot water to treat almost every bodily pains. Hot springs are nature’s way of helping ancient people cope with their painful conditions. These days, we are fortunate to have the capability to have hot springs installed at home in the form of hot tubs.

There are 2 major factors that make hot tub very effective: Warm water and buoyancy.

  • Warm Water

    The heat helps to improve circulation and reduce inflammation.

    Even if you don’t have arthritis, poor circulation can cause you joint pains and muscle cramping. On the other hand, pain and inflammation go hand in hand in causing debilitating conditions.

    Soaking your body in warm water improves your condition greatly. Studies have shown that moist heat can be more penetrating than dry heat like those from a heating pad.

    As your body relaxes, your mind begins to calm down. This, in turn, signals your body to release more endorphins, the feel-good chemicals.

  • Buoyancy

    Buoyancy plays a major role in making things a lot better for those with arthritis. This is something that you can’t achieve if just go for hot showers.

    When you’re in a hot tub, your movements seemed weightless. The buoyancy of the warm water helps to make you float, removing the pain caused by gravity as it pulls you downward.

    This benefit allows you to perform simple exercises that you wouldn’t be able to do so when under the influence of gravity.

Doctors usually recommend exercise, proper diet, weight loss, and a positive attitude to combat arthritis. Luckily, all of these can be achieved when you use a hot tub. It gets even better if you have one installed or setup right at home.

What science has recently discovered to be a great way to treat muscle and joint pains, is already a well-known fact in the ancient world.

“The research shows our ancestors got it right. It makes you feel better. It makes the joints looser. It reduces pain and it seems to have a somewhat prolonged effect that goes beyond the period of immersion,” to quote Bruce E. Becker, MD, as he shares the beneficial effects of warm water to treating arthritis in this Arthritis Foundation article.

Hot Tub Exercises for Arthritis

Before you begin getting into your hot tub, you need to make sure that the water is on the right temperature. Having a hot tub doesn’t mean it should be as “hot”. You should stick within the range of 92 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit only.

Once you’re sure that the water temperature is at the right level, you should do preliminary stretching or warm-ups first. This is very essential to prepare your body for the exercise that will follow.

The combination of buoyancy and warm water helps you perform your stretching with ease, which can be quite painfully challenging otherwise.

Remember to do all these exercises at a slow and rhythmic pace. The feeling of weightlessness may entice you to move faster. However, doing it slowly and regularly will yield the best results safely and easily.


Seated Spinal Twist

Yoga Cobblers Pose

Diaphragmatic Breathing

(All these warm-up exercises are courtesy of


A lot more hot tub exercises for arthritis becomes available to you since your range of motion is greater. There’s significantly less if no pain involved as you seemingly float while seated in a hot tub.

  • Leg Lift:
  • Lift your left leg slowly for 5 counts, then switch to your right leg and do the same.

  • Leg Curl:
  • Curly your left leg towards your chest then stretch it back again for 5 counts. Do the same with your right leg.

  • Leg Hinges:
  • Open and close your legs at the same time slowly, with both your feet planted on the floor.

  • Arm Push:
  • Alternately push with your arms forward, with fingers pointing forward so there’s no resistance.

  • Arm Hinges:
  • Move your hands to the sides and back to the front, with arms slightly bent.

These are but a few hot tub exercises you can do in your hot tub. Remember to consult your doctor first if you want to try more aggressive movements.

You can stay in the water for up to 30 minutes tops, but you don’t need to be performing exercises the whole time. It’s best to get both warm-ups and exercises done within 15 minutes. Then you can spend the rest just relaxing and enjoying the soak.

If your condition is not too severe, you can turn on bubble jets and have the water lightly massage and loosen your muscles. Stay away from using high-powered massage jets, though, as you might end up feeling sore after your soak.

Our Recommended Hot Tub Models

It’s always best to go to aquatic classes specifically designed for those suffering from arthritis. However, even if you’re already attending such sessions, it’s still a great experience to have a hot tub at home. You can soak regularly without having to wait for your next session.

We recommend getting an inflatable hot tub since they are a lot cheaper than in-ground jacuzzis. Also, they are easy to set up indoors, without having to dig through your floors and lay down the pipes.

Saluspa Siena from Bestway is a great choice if you have limited space or if you prefer to soak alone. It’s shaped like a bathtub but the similarities end there. It can heat the water up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit and comes with a bubble jet massage system.

If you’re planning to have your buddy or your wife join you, Coleman Inflatable Hot Tub is a better fit. It can accommodate up to 4 persons and also comes with a bubble jet massage. As with all other inflatable spas, this model also has a heating system already installed.

Do You Want More Models to Choose From?

If you want to see a detailed list of our recommended inflatable spa for 2, be sure to check our buying guide here.

Wrapping It Up

A hot tub is very good for arthritis. Overall, soaking regularly and performing exercises can lead to a better life. You not only get to improve your circulation and your range of motion, but you get to feel good after every soak.

As your mood improves, your body relaxes. With regular hot tub soaking, arthritis pain becomes manageable if not diminished. Start experiencing this now by consulting your doctor for a spa center that has water classes, or better yet by getting an inflatable hot tub.


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