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Hot & Cold Therapy

We've all heard of applying heat or an ice pack to an injury. Recently I came across a different twist on these ideas.  I kind of put it on the back burner, until a friend was telling me that she used it for a foot injury and that it worked really well.  So without, further ado I am passing the idea on to those who never heard of it before!




The idea is known as "Contrast Hydrotherapy."  Basically it involves immersing an injured body part into ice water or using cold packs for five or so minutes--immediately followed by application of heat or immersion into a warm water bath. The exercise can be repeated multiple times.  The theory is that the warm application causes the blood vessels to dilate...the cold causes them to constrict.  As this occurs, the lymphatic system follows suit.  The blood vessels have a central pump (the heart!) but the lymphatic system does not.  The hot/cold treatment essentially provides the pumping action for the lymph nodes to pump stagnant fluids away from the injured area.


This might just be the thing to try next time those achy joints become a pest!

Sources: wikipedia,wikimedia

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