Hot Tub Therapy – Indications, Contraindications

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Hot Tub Therapy/Hot tub hydrotherapy can be a luxury you indulge in once in a while or a daily practice to help lower stress, ease physical tension, nurture relationships, and inspire regular self-care. I know that by letting my hot tub stand at the center of my circle of wellness, I cultivate a constant commitment to good health, happiness, and the lifestyle I envision. You can do the same.

If you’re struggling with arthritis, hot tub hydrotherapy can help. There’s nothing like warm water to alleviate the stiffness, joint pain, and inflammation that are often associated with arthritis.

If you suffer from the uncomfortable or painful symptoms of arthritis, here is how hot tub hydrotherapy may be able to help.

Hot Tub Therapy for Arthritis

If you suffer from joint pain from arthritis, warm water can help your body to relax. This relaxation is the first step to letting go of muscle tension, leading to more flexibility and a better flow of oxygen through the bloodstream. Soaking in jet-driven water can also help ease many of the symptoms due to the warmth and buoyancy of the water.

The symptoms of arthritis that can be mitigated with hot tub hydrotherapy include:

  • Stiff joints
  • Tense muscles
  • Poor flexibility and range of motion
  • Pain and soreness

If you gently exercise while you’re in your hot tub, you can even improve your muscle strength and your circulation because the water provides resistance.

If you want to try exercising in your hot tub or spa, start off slowly until you find your comfort level. This will prevent you from having pain flare-ups. For example, you could try straight leg raises, leg kicks, and marching on the spot.

While hot tub hydrotherapy can help to ease some of the direct symptoms of arthritis, many are not aware of the indirect health benefits that can help to further promote better health. These can include better sleep patterns, fewer feelings of stress, improved muscle recovery, and even improved mental wellness through self-care, relaxation and more time spent with loved ones.

How to Make the Most of Your Hot Tub Therapy

Medical experts recommend soaking in the warm water for anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes. How long you soak in a hot tub will depend on a number of factors, including but not limited to your health, climate and personal preferences. You may want to speak with your doctor first to ensure hydrotherapy is right for you and how to best use it when treating the symptoms of arthritis.

If you’re using your hot tub for joint pain, the water temperature should be between 98 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can maximize your hot tub therapy by using the jets. This gentle massage boosts your circulation, eases tension, and relaxes your muscles. The combination of massage and warm water softens your soft tissues, making them more flexible, so movement becomes easier. Warm water also helps increase blood flow to stiff joints and muscles and can reduce swelling and inflammation.

Relaxing your Mind

When you are living with chronic pain, it’s not just your body that needs to relax, but also your mind.

Just sitting in your hot tub, listing to the gentle bubbling of the water, and breathing slowly can provide you with the perfect opportunity to meditate.

There’s nothing better than the combination of meditation and soothing warm water to help your tension melt away, so you can deeply relax.

The Benefits of Draining and Cleaning Your Hot Tub

Even though you treat, sanitize and shock your hot tub water regularly, you will need to replace it altogether at some point. Contaminants such as body oils and lotions, cosmetics, hair products, sweat, and dead skin are introduced into the water when the tub is used. These contaminants also get into the plumbing and filters, and can create a layer of bacteria that is hard to get rid of, called a biofilm.

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You can only get rid of the biofilm by carefully draining and cleaning the hot tub using the right hot tub and plumbing cleaning products. Your hot tub is due for service/maintenance if it:

  • Emits bad odors
  • Has cloudy or murky water, even after treatment/shocking
  • Has been used by very many people in a short time-span
  • Has not been used for a long while e.g. after winter

Draining Your Hot Tub

Ensure the spa is disconnected from power before attempting any maintenance tasks. Start by adding a plumbing cleaning agent before draining your hot tub. The cleaner is specially made to break down biofilm buildup in the pipes and filters. It should sit/circulate for a while (check the package) – allow a few hours of circulation or even overnight before draining.

You can drain the tub by connecting a hose and allowing gravity to push out the water, but this can take hours. Alternatively, a sump pump can empty the hot tub in minutes. The wastewater should go into the sewer system, but some people drain into their backyards or gardens.

Cleaning Your Hot Tub

Clean or replace your filter while the tub is draining off – rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove the cleaning agents. Spray the shell with a hot tub cleaner and wash, paying attention to any nooks and crannies. Remove residues with soft microfiber cloths and rinse all surfaces thoroughly. You may also want to take this opportunity to clean your hot tub filter, along with other accessories such as the steps or cover. Drain the cleaning water the same way as the dirty spa water.

Refilling Your Hot Tub

Finally, add fresh water through a hose with a filter to reduce the volume of impurities. Always use high-quality water to reduce the risks of stains and mineral deposits. Stay close to avoid flooding, especially in indoor tubs.

Bringing Your Family Together

Life these days is so busy. With work, school, family, and so much more, it can be difficult to find any time to spend together. With a new 4-person hot tub or larger, for example, you’re sure to make some room for a little family soak. Talk to one another, catch up, and relax while you are doing it.

This is also a great way to sneak in a date night while the kids are in bed. It’s hard finding alone time when you have a family, and it is difficult to take a trip and leave the kids behind. There is no need to feel guilty when getting away to your back yard.

Stress Relief

Along with the busy days comes so much built-up stress. Having a 2-person hot tub on hand gives you easy access to stress relief. Soak in a hot tub with some wine and music download. Unwind and let the daily built-up stress melt away.

Regular Low-Impact Exercise

The Sundance® Spas brand offers a variety of hot tubs to help you get in your daily workout. Some people find it much easier on their muscles and joints to work out in the water. Now you can. Just contact your local Sundance® Spas dealership today.

Muscle Relief

Spending the day on your feet, or sitting at a desk, you are sure to have some serious muscle aches and pains. A great way to relieve these pains is by soaking them in nice warm water. Heating your muscles will ease the tension and soothe your entire body.


Massage has proven physical and mental benefits. According to the University of Minnesota, massage provokes a relaxation response in the body’s nervous system. Massage also has positive effects on the body’s soft tissue and improves blood and lymph circulation, which allows oxygen to spread more easily through the body. Relaxing muscle tissue through jet massage can help ease contractions, spasms, and nerve compression. Water pressure on the body’s muscles and joints knead away knots and soothing sore spots.


As muscles relax, the mind unwinds, shedding the stress and anxiety that can build over the course of a day. The relaxation responses to jet massage reduce stress, anxiety, hypertension, and help curb insomnia.

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In addition, buoyancy reduces pressure on your muscles and joints, while heat encourages them to relax and expand. This combination helps soft tissue recover.


Remember when social connections came from talking to people face to face instead of online? A home hot tub can help you step away from your mobile devices and spend quality time with friends and family. A spa can foster an atmosphere of intimacy, inviting people to open up and share their thoughts. In a spa, you can connect with old friends, get to know new neighbors, and solidify bonds with your partner and your children.

Improved Sleep Patterns

Most doctors would agree that getting seven to eight hours of sleep at night is extremely important to your health. A great way to do this is by soaking for about 20 in the tub right before you head to bed.

Grab your oil diffuser and lavender, and get ready for a new bedtime routine.

Revitalize Your Outdoor Living Space

Sometimes you just want to be the talk of the town. Give your home some curb appeal. Nothing will get neighbors more jealous than coveting the new hot tub sitting in your backyard. Adding a 6-person hot tub to your backyard could even help you make those neighbors your new friends.


Hot tub therapy is a tried-and-true method of relieving stress, relaxing muscles, and experiencing renewal through warm water immersion. It is an ancient practice. People have been enjoying warm water immersion for centuries. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, for example, built palaces around natural hot springs. Over time, as the benefits of soaking were realized more, marvelous engineers created artificial hot springs for communal and personal use. While jets were first introduced to hot tubs in the 1950s, today’s high-quality spas feature carefully designed massage jet systems that deliver targeted and measured pressure to muscles and sore spots in the body.


Hot tub therapy relaxes muscles and improves blood flow. At the same time, buoyancy in water reduces body weight by 90%, which can reduce pressure on joints and inflammation while helping to put the mind at ease. The combination of warm water immersion, buoyancy, and advanced hot tub jets provide a total-body therapeutic experience. As the warm water reduces tensions, the spa jets massage away the knots and aches in your muscles just like a gifted masseuse.

Because today’s high-quality jet systems target specific muscle groups, by adjusting your spa’s settings, you can focus on the areas of your body that need the most attention. Similarly, you can control the amount of pressure coming through the jets, so you’re always able to find just the right touch for you.

Tranquility in a spa on a summer day.

A hot tub can help relieve chronic pain and improve range of motion, elevate mood, reduce mental and physical tension, improve social and personal connections, and increase the overall quality of life. As warm water improves circulation and massage free your muscles from strain, your body can enter a restful state, where it is able to heal and recover depleted reserves of energy. Let’s take a more detailed look at the benefits of hot tub therapy.

Who should avoid hot tubs?

If you have any concerns about using a hot tub, it’s worth having a conversation with your doctor. This is especially important in the following situations:

  • Heart disease. Soaking in a hot tub can affect heart rate and blood pressure. This may be beneficial to some people with cardiovascular concerns but could be unsafe for others.
  • Pregnancy. It’s easy to get overheated when you’re pregnant, which can be harmful to you and your baby.

You may also want to avoid a hot tub if you have:

  • Skin injuries. Wait until cuts, open sores, or rashes have healed to reduce the risk of irritation and infection.
  • Low blood pressure. If you’re prone to lightheadedness or fainting, you should probably avoid the hot tub as the hot water could lower your blood pressure further.
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI). Exposure to hot water when you have a UTI may worsen your symptoms.

Not all hot tubs are created equal. Some are in-ground and designed simply and rigidly to accommodate a lot of use, like those you may find at resorts or hotels. Some have fancy lights and a lot of jets designed to be eye-catching, while others are designed from the ground up with genuine hydrotherapy in mind. These hydrotherapy spas are manufactured after intensive research and development to provide:

  • Ergonomic seats and lounging spaces for exceptional comfort
  • Powerful pumps and a variety of massaging jets that effectively target specific muscle groups
  • Comprehensive and easily accessible controls that allow customization of your hydrotherapy massage
  • A reliable water care system for an overall soothing spa experience and stress-free maintenance
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If you’re seeking the ultimate therapeutic experience, you need to know what to look for in the best hydrotherapy hot tubs and how to get the greatest value for your investment.

What Defines the Best Hydrotherapy Hot Tub?

Hydrotherapy is a combination of clear, temperature-controlled water and hydro jets designed to massage your muscles as you relax in a buoyant state. Regular hydrotherapy may help temporarily relieve some symptoms associated with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, sleep disorders, and pain and tension in the lower back and other areas. To enjoy the wellness benefits of hydrotherapy, choose a top-performance spa with the right combination of functions and features.

The best hydrotherapy spa for all your needsThe best spa designers are hot tubbers, so they understand the importance of comfort and hydrotherapy massage. But how can you distinguish between the features you need and those you don’t, and between hot tubs that appear relaxing and those that really are the best for hydrotherapy? Let’s start by looking at some of the most important hot tub features for therapeutic benefit.


When considering the jet options of the hot tub model you have in mind, remember that the overall number of jets matters much less than their placement and design for effective massaging action.

A variety of jet types are most effective because different body areas require different types of massage for tension relief. The jets must be strategically coordinated with the seating to target specific muscle groups effectively, and the pump must be powerful enough to move water through the jets efficiently.


Your hot tub soak will be most enjoyable and therapeutic when you can customize your experience for ultimate comfort. Hot tubs with a comprehensive control panel allow you to adjust the temperature of the water, the ambiance (light, water, and music features), and the flow and intensity of the jets with simple adjustments to air and diverter valves.

In addition to offering hot water therapy, spas with a cold water therapy option, such as the CoolZon system, allow you to efficiently lower water temperature to as much as 60 degrees Fahrenheit.


All the innovative features and exceptional performance of a hot tub won’t mean much if the spa is not a good fit for you. The seats should feel comfortable, supportive, and should align with the hydro jets.

For an in-depth look at hydrotherapy hot tub seating options and the importance of comfort, see our detailed guide to spa seating. Then, be sure to visit your nearest dealer showroom for a dry sit or a test soak to ensure comfort and fit, and to experience hot tub hydrotherapy firsthand.

What Will a Hydrotherapy Hot Tub Mean for Your Life?

Twenty minutes of hydrotherapy each day can change your life. Your home spa can complement current healthy routines and inspire new ones. Because a quality hot tub is versatile and easy to personalize, you can create the perfect hydrotherapy environment for your needs in the moment. One day you might need a simple, soothing soak for stress relief, and the next you might want an invigorating 20-minute soak before exercise.

An energy-efficient hot tub maintains your ideal temperature even when not in use, so it’s ready whenever you want a hydrotherapy soak. Energy-efficient technology makes it easy to enjoy your spa daily, reap the most health benefits from your investment, and can even save you thousands of dollars over the life of your hot tub. When you choose the very best hydrotherapy hot tub, you’re investing in your own optimal health and well-being.

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