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Hot and cold packs help stroke victims

7th November 2005

Alternating between hot and cold therapies could help stroke victims regain the use of their extremities, new research has suggested.

Research from National Chiao Tung University in Thailand suggested that cycles of hot and cold stimulation enhanced the sensory and motor functions in the arms and hands of stroke patients after several weeks.

Using hot (to 75 degrees) and cold (less than 0 degrees) packs wrapped in towels, the researchers conducted direct heating and cooling stimulation for 15 –30 seconds, repeated ten times with 30 second-pauses.

The treatment was administered for 20-30 minute sessions five times per week for six weeks.

It was found that the therapy help improve sensation, wrist extension, and motor function compared to the control group.