Contrast therapy is the use of hot and cold showers to treat a variety of illnesses. It can relieve pain, swelling, blood flow problems, infections, and other common ailments. But there are certain times when this form of therapy isn’t safe. Contrast therapy is contraindicated in people with a history of allergy to radiocontrast agents, fresh wounds, or chronic pain. It is also unsuitable for patients with severe kidney disease, severe liver disease, heart failure, type I diabetes, congestive heart failure, and uncontrolled hypertension.

Please keep reading to learn about contraindications for contrast therapy, contrast, and its benefits.

What is Contrast Therapy?

Contrast therapy is a treatment that uses hot and cold water to help ease the pain. It’s an alternative to conventional therapies, like massage and acupuncture. The idea behind contrast therapy is that alternating between hot and cold temperatures helps speed up blood flow. In turn, this relieves pain by increasing circulation and stimulating nerves around the area of your body that’s hurting.

Contrast therapy involves submerging parts of your body in hot water for a few minutes before immersing them in cold water for an equal amount of time. It may also include alternating between hot and cold compresses on different body parts.

Depending on the part you need to treat, you can apply a hot compress to an area where you have arthritis or muscle spasms or use a cold compress to reduce swelling after an injury or surgery.

Contraindications for Contrast Therapy

This therapy is safe for most people, but some contraindications may cause concern. Before starting any new treatment program, you should consult your doctor to ensure it’s safe for you. Contrast therapy is not recommended for people with certain medical conditions. These include:

  • Heart conditions
  • History of heart attack or stroke
  • Open wounds
  • Impaired sensation
  • Kidney disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Severe anemia
  • Allergy to the contrast dye used in the procedure

Are There Risks Associated with Contrast Therapy?

When considering Contrast Therapy, you should know that there are risks associated with the procedure. However, these side effects are minor and temporary. These risks include:
nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. These side effects are typically mild and go away within 24 hours. You may also experience a burning sensation from too much cold or heat applied directly to the skin. If you have an allergy to iodine or shellfish, you may experience an allergic reaction after receiving contrast therapy. Contact your doctor if you notice signs of an allergic reaction.

If you have heart problems or kidney disease, your doctor might ask you to stop taking certain medications before receiving contrast therapy. It includes aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, and other medicines that thin your blood.

Benefits of Contrast Therapy

It is an effective way to treat common ailments. It can be used to treat chronic back pain, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and other conditions that cause inflammation. The benefits of contrast therapy include the following:

Reduced Inflammation

Contrast therapy can reduce inflammation in joints and muscles by improving circulation, which reduces swelling and stiffness.

Pain Relief

Contrast therapy relieves pain by increasing blood flow to an injured area, increasing its temperature and reducing inflammation. It also improves circulation and reduces pain by decreasing muscle spasms in the treated area.

Increased Circulation

Contrast therapy increases blood flow to areas of the body that are tight or stiff. It allows for more oxygen and nutrients to reach those areas. It also helps with lymphatic drainage, which helps rid the body of toxins and waste products.

Improved Range of Motion

Increased blood flow means increased oxygen intake, resulting in more flexibility and mobility throughout your body’s joints and muscles, making it easier to do everyday tasks without pain or discomfort.

Better Overall Health

Contrast therapy can help with many health issues, such as stress reduction, better sleep, weight loss, improved mood, reduced anxiety, improved heart health, and immunity.

When Is The Best Time to Use Contrast Therapy?

You can undergo the therapy anytime, but it’s best to have it after exercise or physical activity. If you have recently worked out and are experiencing muscle soreness, contrast therapy can help relieve that pain by reducing inflammation and increasing blood flow to the affected area. Do the therapy outside of meal times; otherwise, you may feel nauseous due to indigestion resulting from cold or hot water.

You should only undergo contrast therapy with approval and clearance from your doctor, as it can be dangerous if done improperly. It would help if you also had professional guidance when trying contrast therapy.

The Basics of Contrast Therapy

Contrast therapy uses cold and hot temperatures to help the body heal. It’s sometimes called treatment alternating temperature therapy or alternating contrast.

In contrast therapy, you alternate between applying cold and hot water treatments to a specific body area. The idea behind contrast therapy is that cold water causes muscles to contract, while hot water causes muscles to relax. The cold helps reduce swelling and inflammation, while the hot increases blood flow and circulation. This combination helps speed up healing by helping your body recover from injuries and illnesses.

The typical way to try out contrast therapy is by taking a hot shower or bath followed by a cold shower/bath or ice bath. You can also apply contrast therapy through other methods, such as alternating between hot and cold packs on certain areas of your body.

Inform your physician of your desire to undergo contrast therapy for help with your arthritic pain, inflammation, and other related symptoms. Your physician will advise you on the proper dosages. The effects can vary from patient to patient. Contrast bath therapy is a safe procedure, and unless you have a pre-existing health condition or concern, there should not be any reason why a contrast bath cannot be part of your daily routine.

You should exercise caution or avoid contrast therapy if you suffer from health conditions predisposing you to complications from hypovolemic hypotension. Always seek professional guidance on contrast therapy, even when going for home contrast therapy.