Hot and Cold For Relieving Muscle
by Master C.
Terrigno - 5th Dan
Editor, Tang Soo Do World
Sore muscles result from
overuse or from hard training after extended periods of inactivity. Hard
training actually causes tiny tears in the muscle fibers. The
soreness felt is due to inflammation of the muscle tissue, a lack of
oxygen to the muscles, and (some experts say) to a build-up of lactic acid.
Because it is usually not felt until the next day, it is also referred
to as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).
One method that I've been
using for many years and found to be extremely effective in
providing fairly quick relief is the hot and cold shower method. It has
become more widely accepted by trainers, coaches and therapists, and studies
have shown it quickly reduces inflammation and the pain associated with
it may be difficult for most people to bear, the idea is to warm the
muscles first with hot water (not scalding of course) for about 1 to 2 minutes. This will relax the muscles and increase blood flow and oxygen
to muscle tissues. But it will also inflame the muscles more, which is why it should be
followed immediately by cold water for another 1 to 2 minutes. The cold water
will constrict the muscles and because of the expanding and contracting,
will also contribute to circulation. This hot and cold cycle is
repeated for at least 5 intervals or as long as you can stand it and
should end with the cold cycle.