Cold Water Swimming for neuropathic pain
I have been having neuropathic pain due to the recurrence of my Squamous Cell Carcinoma in the floor of my mouth. The pain has been pretty bad - radiating into my ear and in an arc above my ear. Despite being on strong painkillers eating is still very sore.
On the positive side I have discovered that swimming in cold water (<10C) for a minimum of 10 minutes gets rid of the pain for up to 2-3 hours. After 750M in 2.9C the pain disappeared for over 3 hours. I am not sure of the mechanism - perhaps flooding of the nervous system with other stimuli in line with the pain gate theory but why would the freedom from pain continue after I have warmed up? Also it is more than the endorphin rush from the cold because I can get that rush in 5mins at these temperatures but not get as much freedom from the pain. Also standing in a cold shower does not seem to do it either. Is it something to do with exercising in water of that temperature, (do I need to run around in the shower?)
Has anyone else any experience of cold water swimming helping with neuropathic pain? I would be grateful for any thoughts....