A Dip in a Warm Pool: Heat’s Effect on Your Body

Old Woman Swimming In Hot Water PoolPeople flock to hot springs because they believe in the water's ability to ease sore muscles and enhance relaxation. If they cannot get to natural hot springs, they could always take a dip in a swimming pool. Pool Solar and Spa says that all it takes is a new pool heat pump from Perth contractors, and they are ready to go.

For many, a dip in a heated pool has some physiological effects. Many say it eases muscle soreness and pain, while others say it helps them relax and help in their blood circulation. By now, you should know that most of these are true.

The Underlying Science

Many things happen when heat is applied to sore muscles. For one, it works by blocking pain signals. When muscles hurt, applying heat on the affected area stimulates sensory receptors and blocks the transmission of pain signals. It also improves tissue elasticity. Muscle fibres form knots when stressed or overused, and that causes pain. Better elasticity allows the fibres to release tension.

Another reason why heat works for soreness is that it improves circulation and blood flow. Blood carries all the necessary nutrients that can help ease the pain by ‘repairing’ the damage. Heavy exertion creates microscopic tears in the tissue, and accelerating blood flow to the affected area makes healing easier and more efficient.

When to Apply Heat

Heat might not be a cure-all, however. You must remember that certain types of discomfort benefit from heat, and some do not. Soreness from over-exertion of muscles, stiffness from osteoarthritis, and even fibromyalgia (which causes pain all over the body) can benefit from heat treatment. All these conditions are inflammatory and chronic in nature.

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Conditions such as pulled muscles or sprained ankles, on the other hand, need ice and not heat. Doing this could reduce swelling. Similar injuries are very different from sore muscles.

To get the complete benefits of a dip in a hot water pool, you have to know what type of pain you are experiencing. If you are not sure, consult with your physician and get their medical advice.