Beistline Chiropractic - Chiropractic...The natural way to better health!
RSS

Delivered by FeedBurner


Recent Posts

"I'm going to stop brushing my teeth."
Inflammation
Cold Weather and Mood
Cold Weather and Appetite
Cold Weather and the Human Response

Categories

Chiropractic
General Information
Nutrition
Thought for the Week

Archives

April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014

powered by

My Blog

Cold Weather and the Human Response

The Hunting Reflex

With this recent bout of cold weather, it got me thinking about a phenomenon I learned about in chiropractic school called the hunting reflex. This is a primitive reflex of the body where prolonged exposure to the cold causes our brains to send more blood to the extremities to keep those areas warm. This was particularly useful in early humans when they would spend long hours hunting out in the cold.

This relates to chiropractic in the application of ice packs to reduce swelling. When you come to see me for an injury, you might ask me whether heat or ice would be better to use as home care. Nine times out of ten, I'm going to tell you to use heat, because your condition is chronic, meaning it has been around for a while, and we need to use heat to improve blood flow to a certain area. However, when a condition calls for ice therapy, I will give you specific instructions on how to use it properly.

Cold therapy is used to stimulate the body to divert blood away from the area being treated, thereby reducing swelling, decreasing bruising, redness, and pain. This therapy is most effective for new injuries which have occurred no longer than 72 hours previously. When applying cold packs, I always recommend that you use it for no longer than 15 minutes, and no more than once per hour. The reason for this is the hunting reflex.

The hunting reflex takes place after an ice pack has been on an area of your body for more than 15 minutes. It's effect is the opposite of what we were trying to do with the ice in the first place, which is reduce inflammation. When the hunting reflex goes into effect, the area being treated actually begins to heat up as more blood is sent to this area. When this happens, the signs and symptoms of inflammation begin to return.

In short, the hunting reflex can be useful if you are unfortunate enough to have to be out in the cold for an extended period of time, but when it comes to using cold as a therapy, it can actually work against us. Just remember that the next time you use an ice pack!

Here to Help,

Dr. B


NEXT WEEK: Cold Weather and Appetite


Want to subscribe to my blog? Click the link below!





 




1 Comment to Cold Weather and the Human Response:

Comments RSS
essay review on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 12:12 AM
I am really impressed with this blog! Very clear explanation of issues is given and it is open to everyone. Thanks for sharing this post. This is very good
Reply to comment

Add a Comment

Your Name:
Email Address: (Required)
Website:
Comment:
Make your text bigger, bold, italic and more with HTML tags. We'll show you how.
Post Comment
Website Builder provided by  Vistaprint