[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives: To examine the effects of aging on the ability of contrast baths to increase the circulation in the skin of the foot compared with immersion in a continuous warm water bath of the same temperature as the warm component of the contrast bath. Methods: A laser Doppler flow meter was used to assess skin blood flow on the dorsal and plantar aspects of the foot during immersion in a warm bath (100°F (37.8°C)) compared with contrast baths with a ratio of 3 minutes of warm (100°F (37.8°C)) and 1 minute of cold (60°F (15.6°C)); the cycle was repeated for 16 minutes. Fourteen participants whose average age was 55.1 ± 9.1 years were examined and compared with 12 younger participants whose average age was 23.9 ± 5.8 years. Results: For both groups of participants, the use of alternating hot and cold bath temperatures elicited an increase in skin blood flow above that which was found with warm water immersion alone. The greatest response was in the younger participants. For the older participants, skin blood flow was approximately one-third less than that seen in the younger participants with either continuous warm water immersion or contrast baths. These same results were seen on the dorsal and plantar aspects of the foot, indicating diminished circulation in both areas with aging. Conclusion: We conclude that contrast baths do increase circulation in the skin in the foot of older individuals but the response was less than that of younger people.
No preview · Article · Jul 2009 · Physical & Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Contrast baths have been used for therapy for over 2,000 years. The basic concept is to alternate warm and cool water baths during a treatment session. It is believed that this will increase circulation better than just placing the limb in a warm water bath. However, there is little supportive evidence for this assertion. Further, for subjects with diabetes, with underlying impairments in their circulation, this may not work at all. Fourteen people with type 2 diabetes were compared to 14 age-matched controls. Skin blood flow of the foot (BF) was measured during 16 minutes of contrast baths at two different intervals: 3 minutes warm and 1 minute cold and 6 minutes warm and 2 minutes cold. In control subjects, warm and cold contrast baths with the ratio 3 minutes warm to 1 minute cold elicited significantly (p < 0.01) greater BF than placing the limb continuously in warm water or using a 6:2 ratio of warm to cold bath time. In control subjects, there was also a greater plantar than dorsal BF. For subjects with diabetes, there was no statistical difference between BF with contrast baths versus warm whirlpool; but in both cases BF was significantly less than that seen in control subjects under similar circumstances. There was also very little difference between BF on the plantar and dorsal aspects of the foot in the subjects with diabetes. Patients with diabetes do not show a vascular response to contrast bath therapy. The BF response to contrast temperatures may be a good diagnostic test for diabetic vascular impairment.
No preview · Article · Jul 2009 · Physiotherapy Theory and Practice
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Contrast baths (CB) have been used for over two thousand years. But it only was recently that CB were shown to improve limb circulation to a greater extent than that which can be seen after continuous exposure to a warm, constant temperature, bath. However, other studies show that this type of response to temperature can be impaired if the sympathetic nervous system applies vasoconstriction to the blood vessels. Therefore the purpose of the present investigation was to examine the relationship between sympathetic outflow on the magnitude of the change of blood flow (BF) during contrast baths in controls and with people diabetes. Sympathetic vasoconstriction activity was altered by global heating.
Fourteen patients with type 2 diabetes were compared to 14 age-matched controls. BF was measured during 16 minutes of serial contrast baths of the foot following 3 minutes of warm water and 1 min of cold immersion at 2 different room temperatures, 19 and 32 deg C.
When subjects were exposed to global heating (warm room) there is a greater response to CB than when subjects were initially in a cooler room. However, for both temperatures, subjects with diabetes had a response that was over 50% less than that seen in control subjects.
Removing sympathetic vasoconstrictor tone by global heating benefits subjects with diabetes and control subjects in their response to CB. For subjects with diabetes, global heating may be necessary to increase blood flow to acceptable levels for effective therapy.
No preview · Article · Aug 2006 · Medical science monitor: international medical journal of experimental and clinical research