Contrast therapy is the medical name for the combination of cold and heat therapies. This extremely effective form of passive, non-invasive self-treatment can be executed several ways.
Ice packs and heat pads are utilized for localized symptoms. Alternating shower temperatures between cold and hot is simple and productive. Total immersion in alternating cold and hot baths works wonders for sore muscles and joints.
Cold therapy: Ice therapy is called cryotherapy in medical terminology. Ice therapy causes vasoconstriction, resulting in the reduction of pain and swelling.
Heat Therapy: Heat therapy is named thermotherapy in medical language. Heat therapy results in vasodilatation. Increased blood flow deliveries additional nutrients and relaxes tight muscles.
Contrast Therapy: The circulatory system’s response to contrast therapy is the key to contrast therapies effectiveness. Ice results in decreased blood flow. Heat results in increased blood flow.
Applying ice numbs pain and pushes out swelling. Using heat relaxes muscles and brings nutrients. Re-applying cold therapy decreases swelling and lessens pain. The circulatory system’s response to alternating cryotherapy and thermotherapy acts as a therapeutic pump.
Never apply ice or hear packs directly to the skin. Always use a towel as a protective barrier between the skin and the ice. Several towels may be necessary to protect the skin from the heat. Overexposure to ice and/or heat can result in skin and nerve damage.
When utilizing ice and heat packs each segment should last 10 to 15 minutes for a total time frame of 30 to 45 minutes. Apply ice over the area of pain for 10 to 15 minutes. Immediately apply the heat to the same area for 10 to 15 minutes. Once the heat is removed, without delay re-apply the cold therapy for 10 to 15 minutes. Following the second application of cold therapy take a break for two to four hours.
Ice pack and hot showers can be combined to lessen pain and improve healing. Place a cold pack on the area of pain for 10 to 15 minutes. When finished jump in the shower. Let the hot water hit the area directly. After a minute began to stretch and massage the tight muscles for 5 to 10 minutes. When finished re-apply the ice pack.
Alternating between cold and hot temperatures in the shower stimulates the circulatory and musculoskeletal systems. Switching between cold and hot baths works to soothe sore muscles and speed recovery.
Utilize contrast therapy to improve and maintain a healthy spine. Improved healing helps increase spinal function, mobility and strength.
A healthy spine is vital to entire body strength, health, fitness and motion. Employ contrast therapy in your health strategies along with exercise, proper ergonomics, nutrition, supplementation and Chiropractic treatment to increase the health of your spine and live a healthier, fitter, more functional life.