Hydrotherapy and its Effects for Fibromyalgia Sufferers

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Water’s helped reduce inflammation in stiff joints, soothe tired muscles after a long day, and allow people who wouldn’t normally be able to exercise receive some physical activity. It’s also one of the treatments considered by those suffering from fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS).

Hydrotherapy is an alternative therapy that uses water to help cure illness and maintain good health. Hydrotherapy makes use of water in a variety of different forms, including steam, and ice, in order to relieve muscle pain, increase circulation, and improve health. Also known as balneotherapy, hydrotherapy is practiced by licensed hydrotherapists and naturopaths.

Effects of hydrotherapy on fibromyalgia sufferers

While some researchers doubt the ability for hot tubs and spas to have a positive impact on the suffering of FMS patients, others have found great success. A review published in 2008 in Rheumatology International confirmed that hydrotherapy is a strong candidate for managing FMS symptoms. The reviewers made sure to run controlled trials on patients who qualified as having FMS.

Most of these patients were women, and most underwent 20 minutes of hydrotherapy treatments. In the end, the reviewers found patients experienced an overall improvement in pain reduction and in their quality of life, including better sleep and less depression. Exercise on the whole is good for people with FMS, but because water reduces the stress on your joints and movements, hydrotherapy is a solution that FMS patients should look to.

Regular hot tub therapy

Different fibromyalgia hydrotherapy methods have been undertaken in recent years. Based on the evidence so far, it appears that regular hot tub therapy for fibromyalgia is effective. That’s not exactly surprising, given the already impressive amount of scientific literature that connects hot tub use with arthritis relief, but it’s still encouraging to know that, more and more, studies show that hot tubs are good for fibromyalgia!


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Fibromyalgia impacts patients twelve months per year, which means that Arctic Spas hot tubs and swim spas make the perfect place for therapy and relief. Because Arctic Spas hot tubs are designed to thrive in unforgiving climates, any patient can now access effective, convenient pain relief whenever they require it.


Another study examined how winter hydrotherapy benefitted fibromyalgia patients. Using a specialized metric called a “vigor-activity” score; researchers were able to document how hydrotherapy and consistent hot tub use improved overall well-being, reduced pain and increase energy levels.

Historical background

Hydrotherapy is actually one of the oldest types of health treatments in existence today. It still occupies a major place in medicinal treatment throughout China, Japan, and Europe. Believed to have healing properties, water has long been used to treat various illnesses, ranging from gout to depression.

The use of thermal spas and baths was introduced by the Romans in the fourth century BC and since then has risen in popularity. Various forms of hydrotherapy are now used in countries all over the world.


Related Article: Warm water exercises for fibromyalgia Pain relief


Temperature range

Fibromyalgia is a condition most well-known for an overall feeling of pain and fatigue to the body. It is characterized by trigger points such as joints and muscle stiffness accompanied with physical and emotional fatigue. Utilizing hydrotherapy bath that has a warm temperature between 91° and 94° Fahrenheit can stimulate muscle and joint relaxation while improving circulation throughout the body.

This consistent motion of circulation with relaxation will help with the mobilization of Fibromyalgia trigger points and decrease overall pain that is felt.

It acts as a sedative

A hot bath can relieve aches and pains and general help the individual to feel much more relaxed and often can be used as a sleep aid.

Ask a doctor about hydrotherapy

It’s always best to ask a doctor about hydrotherapy treatment for FMS. If you’re given the go-ahead, consider investing in a high-quality spa for your backyard, and start planning a workout routine with supervision from a professional therapist that you can do to help manage your symptoms.

And remember; ask your doctor how a prescription for a hot tub can be submitted to your insurance and your accountant how it can be deducted from your taxes. You’ll be able to enjoy your spa when you’re not using it for managing your FMS, and you’ll have an overall happier life because of it.

Water as an effective pain killer

Water also appears to be an effective pain reliever because of the buoyancy it offers. Water helps to support all areas of the body, contributing to reduce muscle and joint strain while invigorating muscles. The natural movement of water also helps to stimulate touch receptors in your skin.

This causes your body to produce electronic impulses, which trigger the release of various chemicals and hormones. These hormones help your body to heal and feel soothed. Water is an excellent substance with which to carry temperature through. It can retain cold and heat in a form that can easily be applied to the body.

These temperatures then affect the ways in which the body works. In particular, temperature helps to aid in the dilation and constriction of blood vessels. This change in the blood vessels allows for improved circulation, better waste removal, and faster healing.

Hydrotherapy and massage together

Fibromyalgia affects the body both physically and mentally from the constant battle with chronic pain and fatigue. Hydrotherapy and massage together can create an ongoing treatment that can help with muscle relaxation, joint stiffness, overall achiness, and circulation.

The two therapies can also help to balance the emotional fatigue by encouraging the body and mind to relax and unwind to promote better management of the syndrome. In conjunction with hydrotherapeutic bath, massage can add another level of comfort for those suffering from Fibromyalgia.

Massage uses pressure on the muscles to stimulate blood flow and encourage relaxation. While this can help with the pain and discomfort often felt with Fibromyalgia, the real benefit to massage is the emotional release that it can provide to help alleviate the mental fatigue that the syndrome has on the body.


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Also Read: Is balneotheraphy an effective treatment for fibromyalgia ?


  • Hydrotherapy and its Applications for Fibromyalgia Sufferers By: Jack Claridge via Fibromyalgia Syndrome
  • Warm water exercises for fibromyalgia pain relief by Dr. M Rana,MD via Fibromyalgia Resources

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