What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread muscle tenderness and pain, fatigue, and sleep problems. The cause is unclear, but abnormalities in the way the body responds to and processes pain may play a role. An online survey, completed by 2,559 people diagnosed with fibromyalgiaand 459 people with undiagnosed chronic pain conditions.
Quality of life can suffer when you’re suffering from fibromyalgia. Chronic pain and tenderness can reduce the enjoyment you find in the everyday activities you love. Common symptoms such as disturbed sleep, fatigue, physical stiffness, and cognitive difficulty can make each day seem more difficult and can negatively impact your happiness and social life. All of this can be stressful—and stress itself can increase fibromyalgia symptoms.
Unfortunately, there’s no cure for fibromyalgia. Instead, people with this condition try to find ways to manage the symptoms, often using multiple techniques at the same time. Warm water immersion and exercise are among the many ways to reduce the intensity and frequency of fibromyalgia symptoms. Stretching or soaking for a short period in a hot tub every day helps some people manage their fibromyalgia.
HOW HOT TUBS MAY HELP FIBROMYALGIA PAIN
Hot tubs can help people cope with their fibromyalgia in several ways. Hot tubs may help reduce sleep disturbances, lessening the experience of fatigue. In addition, hot tubs can ease muscular stiffness and soreness. Routine soaks can also help relieve stress, which is an important intensifier of fibromyalgia symptoms.
As fatigue and sleep disturbances are related issues, finding a healthy way to habitually get a better night’s rest is doubly important for those with fibromyalgia. Using a hot tub for a short period–around twenty minutes–about an hour before bed helps ease the body into a resting state. The combination of warm water, buoyancy, and massage relaxes the muscles, physically preparing the body for sleep. Also, the hot tub’s warmth raises the body’s temperature slightly, allowing it to fall a little once out of the spa. As this mirrors the body’s natural temperature fluctuation during sleep, it helps ease the body into a resting state. This bedtime routine improves the chance of a good rest, lessening fatigue and fatigue-related stress.
Hot tubs are also effective at easing muscular stiffness—in many ways, it’s their intended purpose. Warm water helps muscles relax and expand, improving blood flow and easing tension. The powerful jets built into high-quality hot tubs go to work gently massaging these relaxed muscles, working out knots and stiffness. Even the buoyancy of the water contributes as it takes the weight off the joints and allows muscles to relax, without needing to support the body’s weight.
Try to incorporate a daily hot tub soak for a healthy lifestyle to support fibromyalgia relief.
REDUCING FIBROMYALGIA-RELATED STRESS WITH A HOT TUB
Stress can worsen the experienced symptoms of fibromyalgia, as well as related conditions, such as depression, anxiety, migraines, tension headaches, pelvic pain, and bladder and gastrointestinal issues. Reducing stress can both reduce the severity of symptoms overall and improve your ability to cope with the symptoms that are present.
Soaking in a hot tub for even a short while every day can significantly reduce the amount of stress you carry with you. Each time you step in a hot tub and sink back into the warm water, it is an opportunity to feel the stress leaving your body—as you drift further from the origins of your stress and closer to bliss. Regular hot tub use also prevents long-term stress from building up as it provides a release of pressure every single day.
Daily hot tub use can help reduce stress.
STRENGTHENING SOCIAL CONNECTIONS WITH YOUR HOT TUB
Fibromyalgia doesn’t just affect people mentally and physically; it can affect them socially as well. Some people who suffer from fibromyalgia are exposed to cultural stigmas against chronic pain sufferers, which can intensify negative feelings, stress, anxiety, or depression and cause feelings of alienation and loneliness. On bad days, it can be difficult to visit friends or enjoy social gatherings.
Owning a hot tub can be a great excuse to invite friends and family over to share the experience with you. Hot tubbing can be a low-stress social activity. If your friends don’t have hot tubs themselves, it’s also extremely enticing. By inviting friends or family over to soak with you, or soaking together with your family at home, you’ll be able to enjoy company and strengthen your social bonds in a way that works for you.
There’s no easy answer for fibromyalgia. Living with this condition means finding ways to manage the symptoms and to enable yourself to live a happy, fulfilling life. Soaking regularly in your hot tub can help improve sleep, relax muscles, reduces stress, and strengthen social bonds, all of which make living with fibromyalgia a manageable challenge.