Hydrotherapy for Pain

Today I wanted to share a very old, classic tip from Naturopathic Medicine with you: hydrotherapy.

Naturopathic doctors have always utilized water to soothe and cure. Water is incredibly healing. Something I prescribe to patients often is alternating hot and cold therapy.

This is not just about heat and ice (in fact, I suggest you avoid straight ice, it blunts the healing response).

We are looking to pump nutrients, inflammatory markers, and blood in and out of the injured area. This is what leads to optimal healing. By doing this, we assist the body in getting the cells and molecules where they need to go to get the job done!

Instructions for alternating hot/cold therapy:

Take a hand towel, wet and well wrung-out, and put it in the microwave for 30 seconds to get nice and warm (DO NOT BURN YOURSELF, the heat will be distributed unevenly when you remove from the microwave so be careful). Place the hot cloth around your painful joint or sore area for 3 minutes. After that, take a bowl of ice water (not straight ice) with a washcloth in it, and put the washcloth on the same area for 30 seconds (don’t go longer!).

Follow these steps:

  • 3 minutes HOT/ 30 seconds COLD
  • Go through 3 rounds, always ending with COLD
  • Repeat 2-3 times a day.

That’s it! Do this 2-3 times a day and your painful joint/area will thank you.

Patients love this treatment and I think you will too!

As always, we love to hear from you! Let us know how it works for you, and please share with other people in your life experiencing pain!

In health,

Dr. Tyna

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© Dr. Tyna Moore and, 2014-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dr. Tyna Moore and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

2 Responses to “Hydrotherapy for Pain”

  1. Cavanaugh O'Leary

    I live with chronic, sometimes severe, back pain following three back surgeries, the last one a fusion in Dec. 2012. I was told by several of my physical therapists ice for acute pain, heat for chronic pain. In other words, at this point for me, unless I do something to hurt my back and cause worse pain, heat is best for me. Thoughts

    • Tyna Moore, ND, DC

      Tyna Moore, ND, DC

      If heat works best for you then go for it! Ice inhibits the healing cascade and will block optimal healing in acute situations. The “ice for acute” is an old mindset that current literature doesn’t support anymore. -Dr. Tyna


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