If you are a martyr to your back, it’s probably little consolation to learn that you are not alone. Back pain is, unfortunately, a common occurrence, with approximately 568 million people suffering regularly around the world (according to World Health Organisation figures, 2021).
What you can take solace from though, is that your Hydropool spa with its warm, massaging jets can help alleviate the symptoms of back pain.
As always, we advise seeking medical advice for any discomfort or pain. What I have tried to do in this blog is to take feedback from Hydropool customers and back up this anecdotal evidence with scientific and medical studies. Your spa can complement medical treatments and advice.
Back pain, and the impact it can have on your day, is something we have all probably experienced at some point, whether it be stiffness (making the most mundane daily tasks much harder), or pains keeping you awake late at night. Whether it’s a constant nagging, griping pain or one that catches you unawares at a most inopportune moment, the effects of back pain can be debilitating.
The causes of lower back pain can vary greatly (NHS, 2020), making it difficult for us to pinpoint and solve the cause of the issue.
Fortunately, the perfect solution may be bubbling away in your garden building waiting for you to put on your swimsuit. Your Hydropool temperature-controlled swim spa allows you to relax in a heated pool of water, whilst our expertly designed jets can help alleviate your back pain and it’s no accident, it was designed this way.
Working with sports professionals and physiologists, our swim spas have been designed to be extremely versatile, allowing them to help soothe not only the pain, but also a wide range of the issues that cause back pain. In fact, your swim spa can help with both immediate pain relief and help prevent a recurrence of the pains in future.
Pain Relief Through Heat
It is common practice amongst medical professionals to use heat to numb the pain of an injury, hence why we commonly see heat packs applied to sports stars that have picked up an injury mid performance. Even subconsciously, we naturally rub an injured area to generate friction, therefore applying heat to that area.
Despite its common use within the medical field, it wasn’t until recently that researchers developed a strong hypothesis as to why heat helps numb the pain. The ‘Pain Gate’ theory suggests that sensation of heat can override the sensation of pain (Spine Health, 2021) Their reasoning is that the nerve cells responsible for detecting changes in our core body temperature, known as thermoreceptors, are found in the same parts of the body as the nerve cells responsible for the sensation of pain, known as Nociceptive impulses. Therefore, it is believed that our thermoreceptors are able to override our Nociceptive Impulses, explaining why the feeling of pain is numbed when we apply heat to the area.
Hydropool heat spas are temperature controlled. When experiencing back pain, a short dip in one of our heated swim spas will help alleviate your back pain and reduce inflammation, allowing you to bathe pain free.
We experience pain in our muscles when we damage the tissue within it, most common causes are overuse of that muscle, tension, over stretching or damage from an external force (MayoClinic, 2021). Once any swelling has subsided, it is important to repair the damaged muscle tissue.
To do this, the area needs a steady supply of oxygenated blood and the relevant nutrients (Gou et al, 2010 & Quintero et al, 2018). Within the medical field, heat has once again shown to be an effective method of ensuring an adequate amount of oxygen and nutrients reaches a damaged or injured part of the body. When the external temperature is warmer than your core body temperature, your body temperature begins to rise. Your body reacts and to try and reduce its core temperature, begins to widen your blood vessels, allowing an increased amount of blood to flow towards the surface of your skin, expelling the heat (Tansey & Johnson, 2015).
As a result, an increased volume of blood reaches the muscles around the body and, in turn, delivers them a higher amount of oxygen and nutrients (Petrofsky et al, 2013). Combined with a balanced diet, swim spas provide an environment that is both optimal for recovery and relaxing. Whilst your body gets to work at repairing damaged muscle tissues and the warm water loosen’s any tight muscles, you can bathe and relax pain free in a heated pool.
The spine is one of the most important structures in your body. It is responsible for helping you sit, stand, walk, balance and it acts as a pathway for messages to run to and from the brain.
Without our spine, we simply would not be able to function, so it’s extremely important that we look after it. After a long day’s work, our back can feel extremely achy and stiff. Short term pain in the back is normally caused by either sore joints or muscles. Like muscular pain, joint pain is another area in which our swim spas can help. By stepping into a heated spa, your muscles and ligaments surrounding the joints in your back will begin to completely relax, decreasing the strain placed on them. As the muscles and ligaments begin to relax, your backs range of motion will begin to increase, alleviating the feeling of stiffness.
Sleep and Your Spine
Sleep is also a key factor when looking to maintain the health of your spine. As you sleep, your spine uses this downtime to effectively regenerate itself, replacing spinal fluids, decompressing, and regenerating body cells. Failure to get a good night’s sleep can hinder this process (Motion Back London Chiropractor, 2021). This can lead to short-term issues like muscle tightness or a sore back, but longer-term issues can be more severe and damaging. Fortunately, research indicates that a dip in heated water before bed can induce sleepiness, allowing you to doze off much faster at night. Research conducted by Haghayegh et al (2019) found that bathing in warm water heated to a temperature of around 40C before bed helped individuals fall asleep easier. This is because once you step out of warm water, your core body temperature slowly decreases, and this, in turn, makes you begin to feel sleepy. Not that you need an excuse but taking a relaxing dip in your heated Hydropool spa could help induce the feeling of sleepiness after a long day, helping you fall asleep and ensuring your spine is given adequate time to regenerate.
Finally, and perhaps most interestingly, multiple studies have found a link between psychological conditions such as depression and anxiety and an increase in the risk of suffering from back pain.
According to experts at the Spine Health Institute (2021), numerous researchers have found a link between psychological conditions such as depression and anxiety and an increase in the body’s production of a protein known as cytokine. According to the researchers, greater cytokine production can lead to an increase in inflammation and pain, including in your back (Zhang & An, 2009).
We strongly advise that you seek professional help if you are suffering from chronic psychological conditions but is of comfort to learn that the design of Hydropool spas can help provide both short-term and long-term remedy for back pain suffered as a result of a psychological condition and vice-versa (constant back pain can have a negative effect on mental health too).
In the short term, researchers such as Gou (et al, 2010), Bekerom (et al, 2012) and Quintero et al (2018) have found that soaking in warm water can both reduce inflammation and numb the sensation of pain. Bathing in one of our heated spas can help soothe the back pain initially. A daily dip in your spas can also go a long way in helping maintain a healthy mental state. Even the thought of a dip in mine reduces my stress levels in a heartbeat!
Your Hydropool spa provides a place to both exercise and relax, two activities that can help massively when looking to reduce stress. A healthy combination of the two can improve your mental and muscle relaxation as well as increase your body’s production of serotonin, the hormone responsible for the feeling of happiness. All of which can reduce your risk of developing psychological conditions such as depression and anxiety in the long run (Sharma et al, 2006 & Mental Health.org, 2021 & NHS, 2018, Healthline, 2019).
I cannot stress enough the importance of seeking medical advice for any and all of the conditions we have discussed in this blog. Each of the claims are fully referenced and the sources are detailed below.
I hope that, in conjunction with medical advice and intervention, your Hydropool spa can help soothe your back pain and improve the quality of your life.
To experience Hydropool Midlands’ Hot Tubs and Swim Spas for yourself, visit our showroom just off junction 25 of the M1 for Nottingham. Request a brochure or a home visit and you can find out more across the Hydropool Midlands website, or by calling 0800 144 8827.
- The Spine Health Institute (2021) Back Pain and Depression: What’s the Connection [Internet] available from: <https://www.thespinehealthinstitute.com/news-room/health-blog/back-pain-and-depression-what%E2%80%99s-the-connection>
- Motion Back London Chiropractor (2021) COULD YOUR SLEEP TIME BE PUTTING YOUR BACK AT RISK [Internet] available from: <https://centrallondonchiropractor.co.uk/london-chiropractor/could-your-sleep-time-be-putting-your-back-at-risk>
- Haghayegh, S, Khoshnevis, S, Smolensky, M, Diller, K, Castriotta, R (2019) Before-bedtime passive body heating by warm shower or bath to improve sleep: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sleep Medicine Reviews. 46 .p. 124-135
- HealthLine (2020) What to Know About Cold Water Therapy [Internet] available from: <https://www.healthline.com/health/cold-water-therapy>
- Re-Coup Fitness (2021) THE TRUTH ABOUT INFLAMMATION AND INJURY RECOVERY [Internet] available from <https://recoupfitness.com/blogs/news/the-truth-about-inflammation-and-injury-recovery>
- Bekerom, M, Struijs, P, Blankevoort, L, Welling, L, Dijk, C, Kerkhoffs, G (2012) What Is the Evidence for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation Therapy in the Treatment of Ankle Sprains in Adults? Journal of Athletic Training. 47 (4) .p. 435-443
- MayoClinic (2021) Muscular Pain [Internet] available from: <https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/muscle-pain/basics/causes/sym-20050866>
- Quintero, K, Resende, A, Leite, G, Junior, A (2018) An overview of nutritional strategies for recovery process in sports related muscle injuries. Nutrire. 43 (27)
- Tansey, E, Johnson, C (2015) Recent advances in thermoregulation. Advances in Physiology Education.
- Petrofsky, J, Berk, L, Bains, G, Khowailed, I, Hui, T, Granado, M, Laymon, M, Lee, H (2013) Moist Heat or Dry Heat for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Journal of Clinical Medicine Research. 5 (6) .p. 416-425
- Zhang, J, An, J (2009) Cytokines, Inflammation and Pain. International Anesthesiology Clinics.
- NHS (2021) Exercise for depression [Internet] available from: <https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/self-help/guides-tools-and-activities/exercise-for-depression/>
- Mental Health.org (2021) How to look after your mental health using exercise [Internet] available from: <https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-to-using-exercise>
- Healthline (2019) How to Relax: Tips for Chilling Out [Internet] available from: <https://www.healthline.com/health/stress/how-to-relax>
- Spine Health (2021) The Gate Control Theory of Chronic Pain [Internet] available from: <https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/chronic-pain/gate-control-theory-chronic-pain>
- NHS (2020) Back Pain [Internet] available from: <https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/back-pain/>
- World Health Organisation (2021) Musculoskeletal conditions [Internet] available from: <https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/musculoskeletal-conditions>