Are Hot Tubs Good For Sore Muscles? (Yes! Here’s Why…)

By James Brockbank •  Updated: 06/30/21 •  11 min read

Are Hot Tubs Good For Sore Muscles? 

Yes, they are! Hot tubs are good for sore muscles because they help with muscle relaxation. The jetted water from a hot tub produces relaxation and a soothing effect on tight, stiff, and sore muscles, releasing pains and aches. In addition, soaking in a hot tub will give your body the hydrotherapy benefits that will improve your muscle recovery. 

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Are you experiencing stiffness in your body? For example, are your muscles aching from overworking, long exercises, or sitting for long on your desk at work?

I know how it feels! The soreness and stiffened muscles are a sign of intensive engagement of your body over the day, which can last quite some time and delay your ability to resume your usual routine.

Therefore, you need to learn the best recovery methods if you often find yourself in such conditions, and a hot tub is one of my best recommendations.

In this article, I’ll talk more about how hot tubs are good for sore muscles.

Let’s get started!

Does A Hot Tub Relieve Sore Muscles?

Clinical trials for sore muscles have shown that a hot tub helps to relieve sore muscles due to hydrotherapy reducing lactic acid in the muscle itself. The soreness comes about when I subject our bodies to new physical activities like a new workout activity or extending our workouts. Spending 15 minutes a day in a hot tub after working out will help relieve tension and inflammation inside the affected muscles.

Your muscles become sore because of the microtears in the fibers. These tears are necessary for building strength and size in the muscles. When microtears occur in your muscles, inflammation occurs, followed by low blood flow in the affected areas. In turn, this will signal a sense of pain in your nervous system.

Your muscles tend to accumulate excess lactic acid when you work out. These acids are stored around your muscles and contribute to the soreness your experience after working out. However, experts have found that soaking in a hot tub helps to reduce the accumulation of lactic acids in your muscles.

Experts have also noted that using your hot tub can help relieve the soreness in your muscles. Specifically, the water jetting from the hot tub valves massages your muscles to reduce the pain. So even if you take short bursts of water immersion, the soreness in your muscles will fade away faster.

I advise you to restore your athletic performance and muscle condition by soaking in the hot tub. Even when the soreness in your muscles is not a result of athletic performance or overwork, a hot tub will still help restore muscle performance.

What’s Better For Sore Muscles Hot Tub Or Sauna?

While both hot tubs and saunas have a relaxing effect, a hot tub is superior when it comes to relieving sore muscles. Hot tubs offer jet massage that unknots tense muscles. In addition, the water pressure from the jets relieves the strains and stresses put on the body after working out.

After comparing the effect of both a hot tub and sauna, I found that a sauna creates temporary results for the muscles compared to a hot tub due to the lack of hydrotherapy. Therefore, a hot tub is one of the tested methods you should consider when looking for ways to help to relieve sore muscles.

Over the years, people have been popular with this type of therapy. However, experts have found that muscle recovery recovers the best if warmed up after an exercise. This is the only benefit you’d gain from saunas.

Therefore, hot tubs are the way to go if you choose between them and the saunas. They will relieve your muscle pain, increase your internal temperatures and lower your blood pressure.

Check out my full article on using a hot tub for high blood pressure for more information!

Do Hot Tubs Help With Muscle Recovery?

Yes, hot tubs do help with muscle recovery if used correctly. Experts recommended soaking before and after an exercise but not immediately after an injury. Spending 10 to 20 minutes in a hot tub after exercising while also consuming a moderate amount of protein will help with short-term muscle recovery.

My experience with hot tubs is that they are an incredible tool for speeding the recovery of your sore or stiff muscles.

Experts recommended soaking before and after an exercise but not immediately after an injury. This is because our brains interpret hydrotherapy as a sense of comfort when experiencing soreness in our muscles. As a result, the tensed muscles will tend to relax.

There are contradicting research findings that make people believe in placebo effects from heat therapy. However, my experience with muscle recovery showed that hot tubs work by improving the psychological benefits of the muscles.

I agree that heat will not affect the inflammation symptom that contributes to the soreness of the muscles. But it will dilate your blood vessels to increase the blood reach into the muscles. Consequently, the lactic acids accumulated in the muscles will be reduced.

The blood circulation will also remove other toxins from the muscles and reduce more from building up, which will promote active recovery of the muscles.

It is good to remember that microtears in your muscles heal if they are supplied with nutrients and oxygen supported by blood circulation. Nevertheless, allowing your blood vessels to stay constrained will lengthen the time your muscles will take towards recovery.

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Are Hot Tubs Bad For Inflammation?

Soaking in a hot tub may relieve some types of pain by relaxing tense muscles, joints, and tendons. For example, if you have arthritis, the heat and massaging action may help ease the stiffness that causes discomfort. In addition, inflammation is improved with a soak in your favorite spa setting, which also helps detoxify your body!

I have already seen that hot tubs can help in relieving some types of pain by causing relaxation of joints, tendons, and tensed muscles. If you have arthritis, the hot tub water and massaging action can play an essential role in easing stiffness and muscle inflammation. The hot tub water will support your body and take off the weight from muscles and stiff joints. As a result, flexibility and motion will improve.

The stiffened muscles are among the many causes of muscle inflammation. The inflammation fades when bathing in a hot tub promotes blood circulation into the muscles.

It’s not a great idea to soak in a hot tub after sustaining trauma or injury from your body. An example would be surgery or a significant accident. Using a hot tub after an injury or trauma can worsen the damage and cause excessive bleeding, increasing inflammation. Therefore, refrain from bathing in a hot tub entirely until you achieve full recovery.

Are you experiencing a rash from the hot tub after using it? It might be folliculitis, check out my full article on the subject for more information.

If you’re looking for a great ice cold pack to help relieve muscle soreness, I recommend the Elitehood Ice Pack.

Why Do I Ache After Hot Tub?

It’s strange to hear someone talk of aching after soaking in a hot tub, but it happens! You can ache after a hot tub if you have been soaking for a long time and the outside temperatures are warmer. Vasodilation is the condition that makes you ache after a hot tub.

After using a hot tub, your body has been warmed up by the hot water temperatures. The process aims to cool our organs by countering the higher temperatures of the hot tub water. The veins will enlarge to promote blood circulation to all our organs. Circulating blood carries any heat from the organs and brings it into the skin surface to be emitted by breeze and sweat.

If your heart beats faster to send the blood to your skin surface, you might experience higher blood accumulation or “pooling” in your legs, causing swelling and discomfort. This condition is called vasodilation and can happen after using a hot tub.

How Long Should I Use A Hot Tub For Muscle Recovery

Using a hot tub for 10 to 20 minutes after exercising will help heal and relieve sore muscles. Experts note that even the short bursts of immersing water for therapy reduce the soreness of the muscles.

How long must you stay in a hot tub for the muscles to relieve? Are there special considerations? Your body will experience changes in blood circulation, core body temperatures, and metabolic rates when you soak in a hot tub.

When you’re seeking to treat your sore muscles, the best practice is icing (or soaking) the sore muscles for about 10 to 15 minutes before soaking in a hot tub for about 10 to 20 minutes. I found the practice helps quite a bit.

Hot tubs are also a great way to burn some extra calories, check out my article on the subject for more information!

spa tool kit 1

Hot Tub Temperature For Muscle Recovery

The best temperature for muscle recovery in a hot tub is 102 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature will allow your body to warm up comfortably while enjoying the hydrotherapy of the spa. 

I noted that both cold and hot water help in relieving soreness in your muscles. But not any temperature is the best for clearing soreness in your muscles. Correct temperatures are the next thing you want to determine accurately for your hot tub to ensure it works the magic of healing the soreness in your muscles.

Research revealed that physiotherapists and doctors recommend warming the aching muscles at temperatures exceeding 102 degrees Fahrenheit if I want to get the best recovery results.

I also found that you can add some movement exercises and gentle stretching before and after soaking. Nevertheless, the pressure jetted from the hot tub nozzles is sufficient to massage every part of your body to relieve pain.

If you’re interested in know the average temperature for hot tubs, check out my full article on the subject for more information.

Does Hot Water Tighten Your Muscles?

Hot water does not tighten your muscles. It does the opposite. After an intense workout session or a hard run, your muscles become tight and sore. The tightness in the muscles is caused by the accumulation of lactic acids or muscle inflammation. When you soak in warm water in a hot tub, the elasticity of the collagen muscle fibers will increase. 

When the heating effects combine with pressure from the hot tub jets, relaxation in your muscles becomes even more profound. The tightness in your muscles reduces even under short-term exposures to hot water. This makes soaking in the warm water of a hot tub a fantastic idea that will promote healing and recovery from soreness, stiffness, and pains.

Are Hot Tubs Good For Sore Muscles: Conclusion

are hot tubs good for sore muscles

In summary, soaking in hot tub water can do the magic of relieving you from sore muscles. Most people ask, “Are Hot Tubs Good for Sore Muscles?” the answer to this question is yes!

You have seen that hot tub soothes warm water massages and heals the pains, soreness, and inflammation on your skin. A hot tub will relieve your sore muscles faster than it would take to heal naturally.

They work better than saunas because they combine the heat benefits from water and massaging experiences from nozzle pressure and bubbling to work magic on your body.

Although hot tubs are good for inflammation, they should not be used after trauma and injury until complete recovery.

I have also seen that you can ache after using a hot tub because of a condition called vasodilation.

Remember that the ideal temperatures to soak in a hot tub should never exceed 102 degrees.

I hope you found this article helpful about hot tubs helping relieve sore muscles.

If you would like to know more about how hydrotherapy can help you, check out this great article from Hydro Worx for more information.

If you’re having problems with your hot tub overheating, check out my article on the subject for more information!

Thanks for visiting

James Brockbank