Hot Showers and Inflammation

Discussion in 'Health Tips for the Martial Artist' started by Zepp, Feb 1, 2005.

  1. Zepp

    Zepp Master of Arts

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    I know we've got some people around here who can answer this one.

    If you have a minor injury with mild inflammation, from, say a pulled muscle, or a minor sprain, could taking taking a hot shower make it worse? If it does, would icing down the inflammed area after the shower prevent it from getting any worse?
     
  2. TigerWoman

    TigerWoman Senior Master

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    I think you are just supposed to ice for the first 24 hrs. Just probably to get more internal bleeding stopped or inflammation calmed down. After that, moist heat is supposed to be okay since that aids in the healing. I know if I soak sore hamstrings in a hot tub, they will be three times sore the next day. But if I wait a day, then soak its better. Showers are briefer though unless you take the long variety. I would stay away from heat on a bad shoulder until the next day. TW
     
  3. JPR

    JPR Green Belt

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    Ice until swelling goes down, usually 24 - 48 hours. Heat during this time will draw blood to the area and cause swelling to be worse. After swelling is controlled use alternating heat and ice. After activity, ice the area again.

    JPR
     
  4. shesulsa

    shesulsa Columbia Martial Arts Academy

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    What they said.

    If the area is VERY swollen as a result of hot shower, you can cool it down with a little ice. Too much swelling is just as bad for your injury as the injury itself at times. And it depends on the injury and recovery plan and on the kind of tissue injury.

    Ask your doctor.
     
  5. Rob Broad

    Rob Broad Master of Arts

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    I used to get some swelling from hot showers, but I'm much better now.

     
  6. Zepp

    Zepp Master of Arts

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    So I guess everyone would agree I should take cooler showers if injured?

    Not sure if I should comment on this one or not. :rolleyes:
     
  7. shesulsa

    shesulsa Columbia Martial Arts Academy

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    I would say depending upon the type of injury and the time afterwards that cooler showers are most likely the best course, yes. Moist heat is better applied directly to the injury (moist heating pad - get one - great investment) rather than heating up the entire body.

    See and ask your doctor, physical therapist or other sports doctor.
     
  8. Rob Broad

    Rob Broad Master of Arts

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    I wondered how long it would take for someoneto get the wrong idea. I actually have very bad knees that would get puffy after a very hot shower.
     
  9. Zepp

    Zepp Master of Arts

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    If there was a specific injury which I concerned about right now, I would. But I was just asking to prepare for future injuries.

    Ahhh, yes the knees, of course. :uhyeah:
     
  10. Gin-Gin

    Gin-Gin Senior Master

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    What JPR said. :D
     
  11. Dr. Kenpo

    Dr. Kenpo Blue Belt

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    My doctor has put me on Celebrex. it started working over night!:)
     
  12. Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

    Kembudo-Kai Kempoka Senior Master

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    Vasodilatation = opening up of vascular structures to allow the passage of more vascular and perivascular fluid. Facilitated by heat.

    Vasoconstriction = the comparative reduction in size of vascular and perivascular structures, causing a reduction in the amount of schmutz flowing through your bod. Facilitated by cooling agents (i.e., ice).

    Ice. Screw cold shower; not concentrated enough. A recurrant theme in my practice:...guy pulls back muscle just a little bit; guy walks into jacuzzi for symptom relief; guy barely crawls out of jacuzzi because the heat has drawn in so much inflammation, that the fluid volume alone has become a space occupying lesion, causing nerve root compression and radicular pain (remember: fluid is non-compressable...it's why hydraulics work).

    I either need to encourage all people with minor sprain/strain injuries to crawl into the hot tub or shower, and hand them my card so they're in the next day (with the assistance from someone else, since they cannot walk on their own) and enjoy counting the cash...or tell them all to stay OUT of the heat, and put an ice pack over the injury site for 15-20 minutes, every hour on the hour. Of course, that information will keep me poor, because they will feel better, and stay out of my office.

    Shhhhh.

    Dave
     
  13. MikeMartial

    MikeMartial Guest

    If I've learned anything, ICE is a true friend to a martial artist.

    I still take a decently hot shower after any workout, regardless of injury. I haven't seen taking one make any huge difference in injury healing time.

    What I DO NOT do now is take a hot, soaking bath. That 48 hr window for inflammation is tried and true.

    Off topic, but there's solid sports research behind alternating hot and cold for recovery (ie - hot shower, then cold soak in a tub, then back to shower, etc) but you'd have to be nuts to do it.123
     

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