10 Best Hot Tub Stretches For Back Pain Relief


In today’s fast-paced world, back pain has become a common struggle affecting people of all ages.

In fact, it affects nearly 65 million Americans and accounts for roughly 85 million days off from work across the country each year!

With such a profound impact on our communities, finding (natural) relief and proactive ways to treat chronic pain is vital.

This is where hot tub stretches can come into play.

There are various ways to combat back pain and help reduce the toll it takes on your day-to-day life, and supporting your body’s most basic needs is a great place to start.

Not only can stretching support a healthy range of motion and reduce pain, but also provide a soothing moment of peace for you to reconnect with your body and mind.

In this article, we’re going to give you everything you need to create the ultimate flow of hot tub stretches to redefine your self-care routine, combatting back pain and supporting your overall health.

Get warmed up, and let’s begin.

The Benefits of Hot Tub Stretches

Stretching can have some powerful effects on the body.

When paired with the warm water in a hot tub, it can become even more effective, allowing you to get deeper into each movement, releasing tension further.

Here are five major benefits stretching on a regular basis can provide.

1. Improved Flexibility

Stretching helps lengthen tight muscles, supporting their return to their natural resting state and maintaining your body’s overall alignment.

This reduction in tension helps your muscles move more effectively, increasing your flexibility and range of motion.

Even the slightest changes to your flexibility can have profound effects on your pain levels, especially as your body posture is able to shift back into a more neutral position.

2. Better Circulation

As you move, blood is directed toward your muscles to support them.

When stretching, this flood of oxygen-rich blood helps promote healing and reduce inflammation.

This all-encompassing muscle recovery can help improve your pain levels through the additional support it’s being provided.

3. Reduced Muscle Tension

Stretching of any kind can help relieve muscle tension throughout the body by supporting your muscle’s basic functions; lengthening and contracting.

Whether your tension is the result of poor posture, stress, or physical activity, stretching will have the same results when incorporated into your regular self-care routine.

The relaxation response that’s triggered as you move through a quick set of stretches promotes a sense of calm that can be felt throughout your entire body.

4. Increased Mobility

With so many jobs requiring you to sit for extended periods of time, it’s not shocking that your muscles have become tighter over the years.

Whether it’s from the lack of movement or the pressure on your joints throughout the day, your overall mobility can suffer, quickly leading to back pain and muscle tension.

Stretching helps improve your mobility by reducing the strain on your muscles that slowly pull your body out of alignment over the years.

5. Stress Management

Stress can result in a wide variety of ailments in the body, with pain being one of the most common.

Adding some stretching and overall decompression time into your daily life can significantly improve your pain levels as your body responds to the release of stress and tension.

Furthermore, stretching supports the release of “feel-good” endorphins in your body, promoting a sense of calm and comfort as well.

hot tub stretches - neck stretch

10 Best Hot Tub Stretches to Combat Back Pain

Back pain can be caused by tight muscles throughout various parts of your body and is not exclusive to only tense back muscles.

Upper back pain can be the result of a stiff neck and shoulders.

Lower back pain may be caused by tight muscles in your legs throwing off your body’s alignment and posture, further aggravating the pain.

Because back pain can be caused by so many factors in your body, it’s important to include hot tub stretches that focus on various muscles, not only those that target the back directly.

Below, you’ll find stretches from various categories, making it easier to pinpoint your individual problem areas.

As you perform each of these stretches, try to position yourself so that the working muscles are below the surface of the water, allowing the warmth to support the release from each movement.

Neck and Shoulder Stretches For Upper Back Pain

If you experience tension in your neck and shoulders, back pain may begin bothering you across the upper portion of your back, particularly between your shoulder blades.

To ease upper back pain, try including these four hot tub stretches in your next spa session.

Neck Rolls

By including some gentle neck rolls in your spa session, you’ll help lengthen the muscles in your neck, shoulders, and upper back.

Additionally, you’ll help engage the full range of motion of your neck which often goes overlooked in your day-to-day life.

How to:

Sitting in the hot tub, gently drop your head forward until you feel the stretch in the back of your neck.

Then, slowly move your head in a circle, gently extending it to the end of your range of motion as you roll to each side.

After 10 circles, switch directions.

Shoulder Shrugs

Tension in your shoulders can affect various areas of your body, from your chest and arms to your upper back and neck.

Shoulder shrugs help improve the mobility of your shoulder joints while lengthening each muscle involved in the movement.

How to:

While sitting, shrug your shoulders up towards your ears as high as you can go.

Then, slowly roll them forward, moving in a full circle to return to the starting position.

Do this 10 times, then repeat in the opposite direction.

Neck Tilts

This stretch aims to loosen two of the largest muscles in your neck that connect your shoulders and upper back.

With this movement, you’ll want to go slowly and avoid forcing the stretch. Your body will naturally sink deeper into it as the muscle releases.

How to:

Drop your head forward, just like you would if you were beginning a neck roll.

Place one of your hands on the opposite side of your head and gently apply pressure to pull your head further down and slightly off to the side (towards the arm you’re using).

You should feel this stretch in the top of your shoulder, and down the middle of your back, along your spine.

Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Cross-body Shoulder Stretch

This shoulder stretch targets both the muscle in the back of your shoulder’s rotator cuff and the muscle between your shoulder blade and spine.

How to:

Either seated or standing, lift your are across your chest, supporting it with your opposite hand.

Gently pull your outstretched arm toward your body until you feel the stretch in your upper back.

Hold this position for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Back Stretches For Full Back Pain

Whether you suffer from upper or lower back pain, or a combination of the two, these next four stretches are a great way to release tight muscles throughout your back.

Cat-Cow Stretch

This is a classic yoga move, and when done outside the water, it’s performed from a kneeling, tabletop position.

However, when done in the water, you can perform this stretch standing.

The goal of this exercise is to support the movement of your spine while stretching muscles from the top of your back down to your hips.

How to:

Standing in the water, gently bend your knees, placing your hands on your thighs.

Gently push your hands into your legs, and curve your back upwards like a cat, stretching the muscles attached to your spine.

After 5 seconds, slowly move your upper body in the opposite direction, gently arching your back to stretch your chest as your back muscles contract.

Hold for 5 seconds, then repeat for another 10 rounds.

Lacing your fingers in front of you…

Spinal Twist

This stretch helps support your body’s natural movement while stretching the muscles lining either side of your back.

Including this in your stretching routine is a great way to improve your overall range of motion, while reducing tension that may be causing misalignment throughout your body.

How to:

Seating up straight on the edge of one of the hot tub seats, place both hands on the side of one of your legs.

Then, gently turn your body to the side in the direction of your hands, keeping your hips facing forward.

You should feel this stretch in the muscles along your spine. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat in the opposite direction.

Knee-to-Chest Stretch

If you want to stretch the muscles from your shoulders to your lower back, this hot tub stretch is the perfect movement.

As you hug your knees to your chest, you’ll be able to stretch your upper back while lengthening the muscles in your lower back.

How to:

This movement can be done either sitting or standing.

If you’re standing, lift one of your legs towards your chest, bending at the knee. Wrap your arms around the knee, and pull it towards your chest.

Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat with the other leg.

If you’re sitting, lift both knees towards your chest, bending at the knees. Wrap your arms around the legs, hugging them into your chest.

To stretch your entire back, gently drop your head forward as you perform this stretch.

Lower Back Rotational Stretch

This is a great lower back stretch that helps release tight glutes as well.

How to:

Sitting on the edge of one of the hot tub seats, cross one leg in front of you, resting your ankle on your knee.

Place both hands on your raised knee, and twist toward it to stretch your lower back.

Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

Hip and Leg Stretches For Lower Back Pain

When it comes to lower back pain, the root of the problem often comes down to tight legs or glutes.

When these muscles are tensed for extended periods of time, they can pull your body out of alignment, putting extra pressure on your lower back, and causing pain.

Here are two stretches to help stretch the muscles in your hips and thighs.

Hip Flexor Stretch

This stretch may have “hip flexor” in the name, but it actually stretches the muscles from your hip to your knee, making it the perfect way to combat back pain.

How to:

Standing in the middle of your hot tub, step one foot up onto the edge of one of the seats.

Then, gently lean forward into a lunge, stretching the hip and thigh of the straight leg.

For added stability, you can brace your hands on the top of your raised leg. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

Seated Butterflies

This is a great stretch to target the muscles in your hips and can also help release tension in the muscles at the very base of your spine.

How to:

Sitting in the hot tub, bring your feet towards your hips with the soles of your feet pressed together.

Your legs should look like wings.

Then, slowly move your feet toward your body, avoiding lifting your knees up. This will increase the stretch you feel in your hips and lower back.

Hold for 30 seconds.

After you’ve finished your hot tub stretches, there’s no better way to reward your muscles than by treating them to a luxurious hydromassage from your favorite seat!

Hot Tubs For Sale in Pasadena and Sherman Oaks

Are you ready to amp up your health and wellness with some soothing stretches in your backyard?

Adding a hot tub to your outdoor space boasts a range of benefits, and muscle relief and a newfound self-care routine are only a couple of them!

To explore all your hot tub options or learn more about how a hot tub can benefit your day-to-day life, contact the experts at Lifestyle Outdoor, or visit one of our five showrooms!

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