Is Contrast Bath Therapy Beneficial for Runners?

 Last week I wrote a post about hot water immersion.  Now, I’ll be sharing you a  good read about contrast bath therapy which made me sing Katy Perry’s. 

 ♩ ♪ ♫ You’re hot then you’re cold. ♩ ♪ ♫ 

 You’re yes then you’re no. 

  You’re in then you’re out.

♩ ♪You’re up then you’re down. ♩ ♪ ♫ 

Will emerging yourself in a hot bath, then a cold bath or vice versa  produce positive results?

Contrast therapy seems to have emerged as a treatment option for mild muscle strains and post-exercise muscle soreness in the late ‘90s, when several studies cropped up investigating its effects. Initially, the benefits were purported to be a result of changes in intramuscular temperatures. The repeated heating and cooling warmed, then cooled the muscles of the legs, facilitating recovery.

A pair of studies published in 1994 and 1997 by William Myer and colleagues at Brigham Young University investigated this claim using needle-mounted thermometers placed just under the skin and 1 cm deep into the calf muscle. In both studies the subjects underwent a 20-minute contrast routine, starting with heat and alternating with cold every four minutes. The 1994 study used two whirlpool baths, while the 1997 study used hot packs and ice bags.

Read the full article at Runners Connect. 

Photo copyright by Flickr user Julie Jules.

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