Hot or Cold Therapy. Which one should you use?

Contrast Therapy

Also known as Hot and Cold therapy is often used to reduce inflammation, yet can also reduce muscular tension, increase blood flow and therefore reduce pain.

The easiest way to use contrast therapy is with an ice pack or a pack of frozen peas and a hot water bottle.

Contrast therapy can also be carried out by switching between a sauna and a steam room or even a pool and a cold shower.

However, if you have hypertension or a heart condition, its best to consult your doctor first.

Duration

When you’ve selected your method – you’ll need a clock or watch.

In general, it’s best to use the contrast therapy ratio which is one minute of cold to 3 -4 minutes of hot.
Alternate approximately 3-7 times – commence and end on cold to reduce inflammation.

Here is the best way to use contrast therapy:
Start with 1 minute of cold
Apply 3 minutes of heat
Apply 1 minute of cold
Apply 3 minutes of heat
Apply 1 minute of cold
Apply 3 minutes of heat
Finish with 1 minute of cold

The process can be carried out up to three times a day. It can take up to 3 days to work.

There are some conditions however which are contraindications for contrast therapy. These are:

acute injury
open wounds
diabetes
hypertension
heart conditions
raynauds syndrome
cold urticaria

If you’d like clarification on anything above then please don’t hesitate to give me a call or visit me at the practice!

 

Denise

Posted on the 5th January, 2019