While it is widely known that heat and submerging yourself in warm water can help alleviate pain and muscle soreness, many don’t know exactly why heat or warm water has that effect. What exactly does heat & warm water do to your body that makes floatation therapy and hydrotherapy so beneficial for so many?
How Does Heat Help Relieve Sore Muscles?
When heat is applied to a sore area or muscles the blood vessels within that area widen. This in turn helps to increase blood flow which then helps to transport lactic acid and many other toxins away. The transport of lactic acid alone helps to alleviate sore and overworked muscles. Allowing for the individual to find some comfort and relaxation. Heat helps to make muscle more elastic or flexible while nerve endings are also stimulated to help block pain signals. But while heat does help a host of muscle aches, pain and soreness it is important to mention that heat is still not meant for all forms of muscle soreness. In fact, a good rule of thumb to live by is that muscle soreness or pain caused by inflamed muscles needs ice rather than heat. Why? Ice helps to contract blood vessels whereas heat widens them. With the contraction of blood vessels, they begin to narrow, reducing blood flow which helps to reduce swelling and inflammation.
Heat helps with mostly non-inflammatory muscle pain
✓ lack of sleep
✓ Vitamin D Deficiency
It has also been found that heat produces a feeling of reassurance. And heat can actually penetrate up to a few centimeters of tissue. Because of this tissue temperature rises which triggers cells to recover and heal faster. And it has also been found that when you increase body temperature you help to improve circulation. With improved circulation, injured, tired and sore muscles are able to rest and relax. This helps to heal damaged tissue which improves flexibility and can eventually calm flare-ups and chronic muscle pain.
It is highly suggested you speak with your health care professional before trying any new remedy. Medication or supplement. While heat can help to heal tired and sore muscles and improve circulation while helping you to relax. You want to make sure that heat is the right treatment for your alignment or issue.