Following approximately the first 3-5 days of an acute injury, once bleeding has stopped and there are no signs of inflammation, you may wish to alternate cold and heat treatments. That is applying cold for 10 minutes, followed immediately by 10 minutes of heat, and repeat. Always be sure to end this sequence with the COLD application.
Contrast therapy (alternating cold & heat) causes massive increases in blood flow to the area as the vasoconstriction caused by cooling reverses when heat is applied, resulting in an influx of blood to the damaged tissues. Ensure all bleeding has stopped before applying this technique. Blood is vitally important in providing all of the energy and nutrients that the body needs for repair.
There are other variations of contrast therapy, such as 3 minutes cold, 10 minutes heat, repeat, end with cold application.
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