Will a Hot Tub Help a Sprained Ankle?

Although you probably didn’t think about it when you originally purchased your hot tub, you have a very powerful healing machine available to you if you ever become injured. For example, if you’ve twisted your foot, will a hot tub help a sprained ankle? You should really consult a doctor if you’ve suffered a serious injury, but you might find that your hot tub could play a role in your recovery. To help hot tub owners understand if and when they can use their hot tub to help recover from an injury, we’ve come up with an article that goes over what can and should be done.

Seek Medical Advice

If you do suffer a serious injury, it’s important to seek out professional medical advice. Although a sprained ankle may not sound like a very big deal, there is a possibility that you could have broken a bone or done other more serious damage. For this reason, it’s important to see a doctor if you feel you’ve seriously hurt yourself. A sprain, by definition, is the stretching or tearing of ligaments. Ligaments are tough, fibrous, connective tissues that hold together bones, cartilage or joints. If you’ve twisted your ankle, it’s very possible that you’ve injured some ligaments. Common symptoms include swelling, bruising, discolouration of the skin and pain when weight is applied to the injured area.

The RICE Method

The RICE method is a first aid treatment that can be performed on injured soft tissues such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons. You can even employ this treatment before seeing a doctor. RICE is an acronym that stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Allow the injured area to rest by keeping weight off it and using it as little as possible. This will prevent further injury from occurring. You can apply ice packs to the injured area in 20-minute intervals up to eight times a day to reduce the amount of pain and swelling. This should be done for two or three days. You can compress the area using a tensor bandage to prevent swelling by reducing the amount of blood flow to the injured area. When you elevate the injured area above the heart level you’ll also cut down on the amount of bruising and swelling. Do this for two or three hours a day.

Heat Therapy

You shouldn’t apply heat to an injured area for at least a couple of days. This will allow the swelling to subside. Heat applied immediately after an injury can increase the chances of swelling and bruising. It’s best to begin by applying cold by employing the RICE method. After the swelling has peaked you can use heat to increase blood flow to the area. This will boost cellular metabolism, drive more oxygen to the injured tissues, remove waste products and toxins and help the ligaments to become more flexible once again. The heat will also help reduce pain and the chances of muscle spasms.

Hot Tub Therapy

You can use your hot tub to help speed up the recovery from a sprained ankle. The buoyancy provided by the water can take the weight off the injured area and allow you to perform exercises meant to help increase your range of motion. The warm water and massaging jets can also reduce pain and loosen up inflexible soft tissues. A good exercise to perform in a hot tub and help a sprained ankle is to write the alphabet in the water using your toes as the tip of the writing instrument. This will promote flexibility and increase the pliability of the injured ligaments.