Dr. Anthony shares if a jacuzzi or sauna can help treat a sports injury.
We’ve just established that ice is beneficial because it decreases the swelling there, decreases the spasm, increases the deeper circulation. So, heat, we don’t usually use it with the sports injury. We do use with rheumatologic condition; we do use it for different type of arthritis conditions, but I always get asked, “Well, what about a Jacuzzi? Jacuzzi makes me feel so good. And I would love to jump in a Jacuzzi or I’d love to go into the sauna.”
Those are great places to go and they are not counter-productive to a sports injury. Why is that? Well, because the thing that’s detrimental for heat is localized heat which brings swelling to that specific area, but if we do generalized heat like a Jacuzzi where your whole body gets in there, that’s great for it. It doesn’t cause increased swelling in that area. It just increases the circulation to the skin.
So a Jacuzzi, a sauna are both great for sports injuries. In fact, we encourage you to do that because then afterwards you are looser and you can stretch. And with any type of injury, you are going to get a muscle spasm, and we want to stretch that out and if we generalized, if we heat that area up, the whole body up, then you have increased circulation and your stretching will be much more effective.
About Dr. Anthony, M.D.:
Dr. Anthony joined our practice in 1987 and is Board Certified in Family Practice and Sports Medicine. He is a Team Physician for the US Olympic Training Center, San Diego Christian College and Santa Fe Christian High School. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, adjunct professor at San Diego State University, and the primary care physician for the Alvarado Spine Institute.