How Warm Baths Are Good for Joints
A warm bath might seem to many a mere indulgence and time for relaxation, but the truth is that baths also offer a wide range of benefits for physical health. If you suffer from chronic joint pain, a warm bath (note: not a hot one) is an especially great way to treat yourself because it can work to reduce that pain, even beyond the period of you are immersed in warm water. Here are some of the primary reasons that warm baths are beneficial for those suffering from arthritis and other forms of joint pain.
Increased blood flow
Heat works best on chronic pain and is remarkable in the many ways that it can work to reduce joint pain and soothe sore muscles. Heat is known to stimulate blood flow to stiff muscles and frozen joints, at which point red and white blood cells can work to heal and prevent infection in a chronically painful joint. Better blood flow also means an increase in the vital nutrients being carried to your joints.
The advantage of water
A warm water bath is one of the best ways to apply heat to the body for reducing pain because water is believed to transfer heat more quickly and deeply than air does. This means that the time you spend enjoying a warm bath will work especially well to reduce joint pain and soothe sore muscles.
A warm bath is a great place to practice stretches that might otherwise be too difficult out in dry air. While your joints and muscles are being relieved of stiffness, you can more easily practice gentle stretching techniques to relieve pain. This is why many experts recommend warm water pools for exercise in those who suffer from arthritis and chronic joint pain. You can also use your time in the bath to massage sore areas more effectively.
Salt bath benefits
You can also occasionally add magnesium sulfate crystals, also known as Epsom salts, to your bath to further enhance the bath’s benefits. Adding Epsom salts helps to boost magnesium levels in the body, which can be difficult as the body does not absorb it easily. Magnesium is important for helping the body absorb nutrients like calcium and for improving the formation of joint proteins. Magnesium can also reduce inflammation for relieving pain and muscle cramps.