Can Hot Tubs Cure Headaches?

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According to the World Health Organization, approximately 50-75% of adults experience a headache each year, and almost 30% of those people will get a migraine. 

While headaches can be complex, and researchers don’t understand all there is to know about why they occur and how they can be treated, there are several at-home headache remedies that work. Luckily, a lot of evidence indicates that soaking in your hot tub is a great way to relieve a headache.

Here’s what research says about hot tubbing when you have a headache:

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Hot Tubs and Migraines

Migraines are one of the trickiest kinds of headaches to treat. Because of their severity, they can detract from a person’s ability to carry out day-to-day activities, and unfortunately, there is still a lot that researchers don’t know about migraines. But soaking in the hot tub has been shown to help with these painful headaches. Research shows that regular hot water soaking can help reduce the intensity and frequency of migraines

Hot Tubs and Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are a little less complex in that we know that this type of headache is characterized by tense neck muscles. Hot tubs can work wonders in this situation as they are great for relaxing muscles, including those that cause this type of pain. 

Foot Soak and Neck Ice Pack

If you’ve been on TikTok recently, you might have heard that soaking your feet in hot water while placing an ice pack on your neck can treat a headache. While this treatment isn’t a sure bet, some research backs up this trending remedy. According to one study, placing an ice pack on your neck or head may indeed help relieve headache symptoms, and we know that soaking in hot water can help relieve pain. The efficacy of this approach seems to vary from individual to individual, headache to headache, but you could always give it a try!

Generally speaking, hot tubs can be great for curing an aching head, but there are some exceptions. 

Dehydration Headaches 

Mainly, dehydration is a common reason that people end up with a headache. If you have a headache because you haven’t consumed enough water throughout the day, a soak in the hot tub could worsen the symptoms. Hot tubs can increase dehydration because heat encourages your body to sweat more, eliminating more fluids. This is why it is so important to hydrate while soaking in your hot tub!

Hot Water Headaches

There have also been reports of a tiny subset of people who regularly experience headaches after bathing in hot water. This circumstance does not seem to affect most people, and you would certainly know if it was happening to you.


One of the most frustrating things about these common ailments is that not every remedy will help every headache, but it’s wonderful to know that something as relaxing as a hot tub soak could ease your pain.