Facing Knee Replacement Surgery? Hot Tub Exercise is the Secret to Reducing Pain & Increasing Mobility

Big news for knee replacement patients: hot tub therapy begun just 6 days after knee replacement surgery lessens pain and increases mobility.  

That’s right.

Starting aquatic therapy within 6 days after total knee replacement appears to improve a patient’s outcome, according to a new study.

The number of patients having total knee and hip replacements is increasing, but there is a lack of agreement about the best type of post-surgical treatment noted German researchers.

Aquatic therapy has been shown to be beneficial when begun two weeks after surgery, when the wound has healed.

However, this study found that beginning aquatic therapy just six days after total knee replacement may lead to better results.

Patients who’d had total knee replacement were randomly assigned to undergo aquatic therapy either six or 14 days after surgery. Both groups had 30-minute therapy sessions three times a week up to the fifth week after surgery. Their physical function, pain and stiffness were evaluated three, six, 12 and 24 months after surgery.

All of the outcome measures were better in the knee replacement patients who started aquatic therapy six days after their surgery, compared to those who began therapy 14 days after surgery said investigator Dr. Thoralf Liebs, of the University of Schleswig-Holstein Medical Center in Kiel, and colleagues reported.
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Liebs hypothesized that the force of the water during aquatic therapy reduces buildup of fluid in the knee joint.  Because the knee capsule is closed after knee replacement, reduced fluid buildup leads to less pain.

(SOURCE: Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, news release, Dec. 21, 2011)

If you’re scheduled for knee surgery or still trying to cope after a recent knee replacement, the results are clear: start hot tub therapy to reduce pain and pain medication as well as improve range of motion faster. If you ask your insurance company nicely, you just might get them to pay for your hot tub!  It’s worth a try!!

SANUM PER AQUA. Latin for Health through Water.


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Author: Don Riling

Don Riling is the President of Olympic Hot Tub and has been an active member of the hot tub industry since 1995. As the company’s owner since 2016, he has continued Olympic’s legacy of promoting health & wellness through water.

5 responses to “Facing Knee Replacement Surgery? Hot Tub Exercise is the Secret to Reducing Pain & Increasing Mobility

  1. just which i had seen this article sooner
    just had knee replacement 2 weeks ago
    i do have a hot tub and will start to use it
    asap i also have a dry suana is ther any
    benefit to use the suana.


  2. I recently had the misfortune of having to under a pretty intense knee replacement. I had to undergo some reconstructive surgery in order to correct a severe trauma. The whole process leading up to the surgery was traumatic for obvious reasons. I don’t want to go into too much detail but during my surgery, my team used a FAW blanket and it helped so much with my post surgical recovery. I credit my super quick recovery to the blanket. And when I was done with surgery, I did use a hot tub and it worked so well! Here are some facts about the system https://www.fawfacts.com

  3. Hello Catherine:
    Thanks for sharing your knee replacement surgery story with our blog readers.
    Glad to hear that both the FAW blanket (a new one on me-looks like it really does help with recovery)
    and hot tub sessions helped your recovery.
    Best wishes,

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