Document Type : Original Articles


1 School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Background:Contrast bath is a thermal agent that is used as alternative heat and cold water on a target limb. Type 2 diabetes mellitus in long term leads to vascular insufficiency. It seems that contrast bath is useful for patients with diabetes mellitus due to the increase in blood flow and vascular pumping. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect(s) of contrast bath on circulation of contralateral lower limb in women with type 2diabetes mellitus compared to healthy subjects.Methods:Fifteen diabetic females aged between 30-60 years, who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and 30 matched control females participated in this research. The oral temperature, skin temperature of the first web space of the foot, and the pulse of dorsalis pedis artery were measured and recorded. These results were evaluated prior to, immediately and 10 minutes after the contrast bath. The contrast bath protocol included the immersion of the right foot in the warm bath (38-440C) for four minutes and then in the cold bath (10-180C) for one minute. These processes were repeated five times as the total duration of the intervention was 24 minutes. The treatment was started and terminated with warm water. Repeated measures and independent t-test were used for data analysis.Results:The dorsalis pedis pulse was significantly higher at all times of the measurements except between immediately post the contrast bath and after 10 minutes of applying it in the diabetic group (P=0.58). The results of the skin temperature measurement demonstrated incremental changes in the healthy and the diabetic groups. The oral temperature at all times was not significantly different in the normal and the diabetic groups (P > 0.05).Conclusion:The results of this study showed that contrast bath can increase circulation in the contralateral limb. However, its influence on superficial and deep blood flow is uncertain. 


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