The benefits of hydrotherapy for rehab and injury recovery are significant and well known. So much so that it’s easy to overlook the ways it can help healthy athletes.
As explained in an article on the SwimEx website, intense exercise can result in tiny tears within muscle fibers. These tears, also know as microtraumas, trigger increased cell activity that generates muscle fiber repair, a process that over time results in stronger muscles.
However, it can also produce inflammation and Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). Fortunately, when used post-exercise, the low temperatures in cold water plunge tanks help minimize this inflammation, allowing athletes gain the beneficial effects of microtraumas without the pain of DOMS.
On the other hand, hot plunge tanks can be used before exercise to increase blood flow and flexibility, and loosen muscles, which reduces muscles strain and leads to productive exercise sessions.
Then there’s Contrast Therapy that uses both hot and cold pools.
“The premise behind contrast therapy is that muscles constrict in cold water and blood vessels expand in a hot water. By systematically moving from a cold water tank to a hot water tank blood flow increases which stimulates circulation. As this occurs muscles flush out inflammation mediators, accelerating the healing process and decreasing the long term effects of DOMS.”
Click here to learn more about the benefits of hydrotherapy and read the full article titled Effective Workouts and Faster Recovery with Hot and Cold Plunge Pools.
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