It’s also beneficial for individuals with diabetes, as they are prone to a foot problem known as peripheral neuropathy. This condition causes unrelenting burning, stabbing pains, numbness and aching in one or both feet.
What You Need to Know about Contrast Hydrotherapy
Contrast hydrotherapy involves alternating applications of cold and warm compresses or immersion in cold and warm water for specified times.
Additionally, when under medical observation, if a change in blood flow to the feet is not achieved, it can signal an impairment in circulation that requires further assessment.
Indulge in a Contrast Foot Bath
- Purchase two basins and keep them for your foot baths, each one large enough for both feet and sufficient water to cover them.
- Gather up a pair of cozy socks and a supply of towels (water will splash when you move from one basin to another).
- Fill one basin with ice water, and another with warm water. (Test water with your hand to make sure it’s not too hot).
- Start with the warm water, from 3-5 minutes.
- Immediately switch to the cold water for 30 seconds to one minute.
- Repeat the process about 3-5 times
- Always end with the cold water.
- Gently dry legs and feet and put on warm socks.
- Rest for 20 minutes
Have you tried contrast hydrotherapy? Share in the comments below!
Pizzorno, Joseph E. (2013). Textbook of Natural Medicine. St. Louis, MO Elsevier. (chapter 40), 335
Mooventhan, A, and L Nivethitha. “Scientific Evidence-Based Effects of Hydrotherapy on Various Systems of the Body.” North American Journal of Medical Sciences 6.5 (2014): 199-209. PMC. Accessed on: 5 Sept. 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4049052/
Petrofsky, J., Lohman III, E., et al., “Effects of contrast baths on skin blood flow on the dorsal and plantar foot in people with type 2 diabetes and age-matched controls.” Physiotherapy Theory & Practice (2007) 23:4. Accessed on 5 Sep 2016: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17687732
HumanKinetics.com. “How to use heat and cold to treat athletic injuries.” Accessed on 5 Sep 2016: http://www.humankinetics.com/excerpts/excerpts/how-to-use-heat-and-cold-to-treat-athletic-injuries
DiabetesSelfManagement.com. Accessed on 5 Sep 2016: http://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/managing-diabetes/complications-prevention/controlling-neuropathic-pain/