Over 26,000 hot tubs are produced in the country every year. The demand for hot tubs dipped briefly a few years ago resulting in drop prices. This has driven a recovery that is placing hot tubs firmly in the reach of average homeowners.
An increasingly popular use for the tubs is hydrotherapy. This is the practice of using hot and moving water in order to increase circulation and reduce swelling in the body. It helps with conditions like arthritis as well as joint injuries and muscle pains. Choosing the right hot tub means looking for features that will make the therapy as effective as possible.
One of the first features to look for in a hot tub is a spacious basin. One of the keys to any type of therapy utilizing water is the comfort of the person receiving the treatment.
A basin that does not have a comfortable seat will create unnecessary pressure on the back and could cause strain in the muscles that negate and benefit provided by the therapy. An uncomfortable basin or seat will also make it difficult to remain in a single position for the length of time needed. Additionally, size is important because there must be room to stretch out in order for the buoyancy of water to affect the body in a positive way.
Part of hydrotherapy relies on the movement of water and the massaging action of the underwater jets in the hot tub. There are many different types of jets available depending on the model of the unit.
Some tubs even have removable jets that can be changed depending on personal needs. The best jets will be adjustable so that the individual streams can be positioned where the pressure is needed the most.
Another decision is whether to choose air jets or water jets. Air jets use a stream of air to move the water and create a gentle massaging pressure. Water jets push water out in a column that can create very strong pressure on the body. Some hot tubs include both types of jets.
The temperature of the water in a hot tub contributes to the beneficial effects of hydrotherapy. Hot water causes dilation of the blood vessels. This improves circulation and increases the amount of oxygen moving throughout the body.
This reduces inflammation in the muscles and joints. It also reduces pain from strains and other injuries. It is important to select a hot tub that has a good temperature range. Some tubs have very limited temperature settings that are not appropriate for therapeutic use. The best controls will have a digital display that allows the user to select a specific numerical temperature.
The pump inside of the hot tub will determine the quality of the therapy the unit provides. The pump moves the water through the system so that it remains warm and filtered. It also powers the jets in the basin.
A two-speed pump is preferable because it is simple and provides options when using the tub for a purpose other than therapy. One-speed pumps are appropriate if there is a secondary pump for circulation present. It is usually best to choose a hot tub with the highest power pump possible when using the unit for therapeutic purposes.