June 23, 2005
Training athletes includes recovery from a workout. However, many recovery techniques are restricted to times of injury when they could be used for training recovery as well. Hydrotherapy is becoming more popular among athletes, elite and otherwise, for the performance benefits ti brings.
Hot and cold water immersion, or contrast bathing, is one hydrotherapy technique that is currently growing in popularity.
It is proven that cryotherapy decreases skin, subcutaneous and muscle temperature, causing narrowing of the blood vessels (vasoconstriction). This narrowing has the beneficial effects of dulling and reducing the sensation of pain, limiting the amount of swelling, reducing muscle spasm and clearing metabolites from superficial to deep tissue.
As you might expect, thermotherapy has been shown to have the opposite effect of increasing tissue temperature, thus causing vasodilation. The resulting increased blood flow has the beneficial effects of increasing oxygen and antibody supply, while also reducing muscle spasm and clearing metabolites.
Posted by linda at June 23, 2005 11:26 AM
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