Types Of Warm Packs Or Pads
Dampen a towel with warm water.
Put on the affected area to ease muscle spasm.
Be sure to protect any type of heating pad device from coming in directcontact with the skin. Precautions should be taken to avoid burns,especially if you have nerve damage, such as from diabetes or other healthproblems.
When muscles work, chemical byproducts are made that need to be eliminated.When exercise is very intense, there may not be enough blood flow toeliminate all the chemicals. It is the buildup of chemicals that cause muscle ache. Because the blood supply helpseliminate these chemicals, use heat to help sore muscles after exercise.
How Applying Ice Works For An Injury
Ice helps decrease the local temperature of the tissue, which results in decreased blood flow, edema, and muscle tone. It is also shown to slow metabolic rate and nerve conduction velocity. It can also help increase the bodys pain threshold. Ice should be applied for 15-20 minutes at a time. You should give your tissue adequate time to return to normal temperature between icing sessions. Exactly how long and how often a patient should ice an injury depends on a variety of factors that a physical therapist can assess, but generally, for the first 72 hours after an injury, it can be iced at least 3 times per day. After 72 hours, some people will respond better to heat, and they can try using heat to alleviate pain and promote healing. Some potential reasons ice might NOT be a great option for you include cold intolerance, cold urticaria, cryoglobulinemia, infection, over regenerating peripheral nerves, or any form of vascularization problems .
Fast Facts On Cold And Heat Treatment:
- Cold treatment reduces inflammation by decreasing blood flow. Apply within 48 hours after an injury.
- Heat treatment promotes blood flow and helps muscles relax. Use for chronic pain.
- Alternating heat and cold may help reduce exercise-induced muscle pain.
- Never use extreme heat, and never put ice directly on the skin.
Cold treatment reduces blood flow to an injured area. This slows the rate of inflammation and reduces the risk of swelling and tissue damage.
It also numbs sore tissues, acting as a local anesthetic, and slows down the pain messages being transmitted to the brain.
Ice can help treat a swollen and inflamed joint or muscle. It is most effective within 48 hours of an injury.
Rest, ice, compression and elevation are part of the standard treatment for sports injuries.
Note that ice should not normally be applied directly to the skin.
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What Is Heat Therapy
Heat opens up blood vessels and increases blood flow, while cold slows your blood flow and reduces pain and swelling at the time of injury and the days following. In addition, the increased blood flow supplies oxygen and nutrients that help in reducing pain in your joints, relaxes your sore muscles, decreases spasms and can increase your range of motion and flexibility.
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Please make sure to speak to a doctor before use if you have redness over an affected area or if you have questions about relieving your pain.
Heat Or Cold For Torn Ligament
Symptoms: stabbing pain of the ligaments with a direct swelling of the area, impossible to move
A torn ligament occurs when the joints are twisted jerkily. You can often hear cracking of the ligaments. Furthermore, a blue/green discoloration can be seen in the area of the tear. Rapid swelling of the joints is immediately visible.
Should you apply HEAT OR COLD FOR TORN LIGAMENT?
The area should rest immediately, and the use of cold for the torn ligament is necessary. Place either an ice bag or ice cubes wrapped in a bag on the affected painful area for about 10 to 15 minutes. Afterward, a rest period of 20 to 30 minutes should be taken not to over cool the muscle fibers. Over the following days of treatment, an anti-inflammatory pain ointment should also be applied to support the healing process.
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How To Apply Heat
Like cold therapy, heat therapy is a versatile treatment that lends itself to several options.
- An electric heating pad: Heating pads plug into the wall and provide a consistent heat source to help ease your back pain. Many heating pads allow you to control the temperature and set a timer, ensuring you do not leave the heat on your back for too long.
- A hot water bottle: Hot water bottles can provide heat. Remember to wrap a light washcloth around the surface if it is too hot to touch with your bare hands.
- A bath: A hot bath can help to ease your back pain and any other muscle soreness you may be experiencing.
- Adhesive heat wraps: Wear over-the-counter adhesive heat wraps underneath your clothing for a safe, low-level amount of heat lasting several hours.
If you use heat for lower back pain, it is vital to protect your skin. Make sure whatever heat source you use is warm rather than hot, and do not leave it on your body for too long.
Cold Therapy For Rheumatoid Arthritis
If your joints are inflamed, it makes sense that something cold could ease the inflammation and thus the pain. The main benefits of cold therapy are reducing inflammation, swelling, and soreness, as well as temporarily relieving joint pain caused by an arthritis flare.
Cold therapy is best during an acute flare, Maggiore says. Cold therapy is helpful as it can lower joint temperatures, reduce pain, and decrease inflammation, she says.
Like heat therapy, cold therapy comes in several forms.
One simple method of cooling the joints is a cool-water soak in a tub. Just dont let the water get so cold that you become chilled.
Cold packs that you place directly on an aching joint include everything from common items bags of frozen peas or gel packs found at the drugstore to complete systems of coolers, cooling pads, and devices shaped to certain parts of the body, like the knees and back.
But if the cold doesnt feel good or you cant tolerate it, stop using it, Maggiore says.
Others who should avoid or limit cold therapy are people with Raynauds syndrome, a condition in which small blood vessels in the fingers or toes constrict when exposed to cold. If you have this syndrome, you probably should not use cold therapy on the affected parts of your body.
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Is Ice Or Heat Better For Back Pain
Back pain is a prevalent experience for most people at some point in their adult lives. Applying heat or ice is one of the tried-and-true methods of at-home treatment for back pain, but how do you know which method to use and when? Get to know how to use ice or heat for back pain and when to use both.
How To Treat A Sprain Strain And Stiffness
Knowing exactly when to use heat or ice can shorten recovery time and help with chronic aches, pains, and stiffness. Treating an injury can be tricky and not all sports injuries or conditions will require strictly ice or heat therapy. In some cases, both ice therapy and heat therapy can play a crucial role in the rehabilitation process. Generally speaking, ice therapy is more appropriate for new injuries, like sprains and strains, whereas heat therapy is typically better for treating chronic conditions.
The RICE method is useful immediately following a sprain or strain and can also help with swelling or sharp pain following rigorous activity or exercise. Heat is often best for tight muscles, sore muscles, as well as the stiffness and pain associated with arthritis. Heat can also be used following an acute injury to increase blood flow once the swelling has subsided. Remember, though, that applying heat too soon following an acute injury can increase swelling. After sustaining a sudden injury, ice therapy should be used for the first 24 to 72 hours and, after that, individuals can transition to heat therapy in order to increase blood flow to the area.
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Treating Pain With Heat And Cold
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We treat everything from arthritis to pulled muscles to inflammation with ice packs or heating pads. Treating pain with hot and cold can be extremely effective for a number of different conditions and injuries, and easily affordable. The tricky part is knowing what situations calls for hot, and which calls for cold. Sometimes a single treatment will even include both.
As a general rule of thumb, use ice for acute injuries or pain, along with inflammation and swelling. Use heat for muscle pain or stiffness.
What Ice And Heat Are Not For
Both ice and heat have the potential to do some minor, temporary harm when used poorly. Heat can make inflammation significantly worse. Ice can aggravate symptoms of tightness and stiffness it can also just make any pain worse when its unwanted.
Both ice and heat are pointless or worse when unwanted: icing when youre already shivering, or heating when youre already sweating. The brain may interpret an excess of either one as a threat, but icing is more threatening and when brains think theres a threat, they may also amp up the pain. Ice seems to be feel more threatening to most people.
Be especially wary of icing muscle pain and it may not be obvious. You may think your back is injured, for instance, but it may just be muscle pain. Trigger points can be surprisingly intense and easily mistaken for iceable injury and inflammation. But if you ice trigger points, they may burn and ache even more acutely. This mistake is made particularly often with low back pain and neck pain the very conditions people often try to treat with ice.
Heat and inflammation are the other particularly bad combination. If you add heat to a fresh injury, watch out: its going to get worse! A physician once told my father to heat a freshly injured knee, and wow it swelled up like a balloon, three times bigger than it had been before. And three times more painful.
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Heat Vs Cold Therapy For Joint Pain
Applying heat or cold can offer an inexpensive and easy way to relieve arthritis-related aches and pains. However, there can be confusion about when to use heat versus cold therapy. Heat can relax muscles and improve joint lubrication. Heat therapy is typically used to relieve muscle and joint stiffness, help warm-up joints prior to activity, and/or relieve muscle spasm. Cold therapy can help reduce the inflammation, swelling, and pain related to joint arthritis. Cold application is also often recommended for acute bone and joint injuries.
Some patients may even get best results by alternating between heat and cold therapy. For example, heat may be utilized in the morning to âloosen-upâ stiff arthritic joints and cold application subsequently used later in the day to reduce swelling. This alternating process can be repeated throughout the day for pain relief.
Most often, cold therapy is recommended with certain types of painful arthritis inflammation flares, such as seen with gout and pseudogout. Other types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis, may benefit from both heat and cold therapy. No specific universal guidelines exist for when to use heat or cold therapy for joint pain, and a quick web search will yield varying recommendations. People with arthritis joint pain are advised to experiment with both heat and cold therapy to find which works best for their individual symptoms.
How To Safely Use Cold Therapy
Cold therapy is safest and most effective when you follow these tips:
- Apply ice as soon as an injury happens or after intense, high-impact exercise.
- Do not apply ice to areas of the body that have poor circulation.
- Never use cold therapy for more than 20 minutes at a time.
- Only apply cold to the injured area.
- Wrap the ice pack in a towel before applying it to the affected area.
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Heat Or Cold For Tendonitis
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Symptoms: throbbing pain with movement, swelling of the joint, tingling, numbness, difficulty performing specific actions.
Tendinitis, whether in the elbow, shoulder, hip, or other areas, is a problem that affects many people, and its number is increasing with todays lifestyle. It is more common in individuals over the age of forty and in athletes.
Should you apply HEAT OR COLD FOR TENDONITIS?
In general, heat is used for chronic injuries and cold for inflammation, swelling, and pain.
The first three days of a new injury
If the injury is new, icing is the perfect solution, especially during the first three days. The cold ankyloses the sore part and causes the blood vessels to constrict, which in turn reduces the swelling.
Simple treatment: Place a pack of ice on the pain areas around for 15 to 20 minutes. Afterward, repeat every four to six hours, but dont forget to place a towel between the ice cubes and the skin.
In most situations, the treatment is not difficult, and you can do it on your own at home. Rest, icing, and using anti-inflammatory pain creams, the tendonitis will fade within a few weeks.
Please remember to stop the excessive activity that caused the tendonitis triggering the pain, as otherwise, the healing process extends.
AFTER the first three days of a new injury
When To Use Ice Or Heat For Muscle Pain
If youre reading this, youve had plenty of aches, pains, and bruises.
Heck, Im still sore from the workout I did two days ago. You might be in the same boat.
We all have to deal with these things from time to timeespecially if were living active Paleo lifestyles. Muscle pain is one of the most notorious culprits. When it hits you, it can be hard to stay motivated and keep jogging, going to the gym, or anything else you do to get fit.
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How can you ease the pain and get back in the game?
Ice and heat can helpas long as you understand when and how to use them.
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The Pros And Cons Of Cryotherapy
The cooling muscles can relieve inflammation and pain, but heat can dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow. Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy, is a popular treatment for pain and inflammation. Because of the cold, nerve activity is reduced, which can provide pain relief for a short period of time.
When To Use Heat
Because the goal of heat therapy is to soothe and heal damaged tissues, its best to use heat when you are dealing with muscle pain or soreness. Doctors often recommend it to treat chronic muscle pain rather than a new injury well explain more about why later on. Thats not to say putting heat on an injury is out of the question however, never apply heat to a new injury that is still swelling. Heat will make the swelling and pain worse, which is not what you want. You also should not apply heat if your body is already hot for example, if youre sweating. It wont be effective.
One of the benefits of heat therapy is that you can apply it for longer than you can use ice. For minor aches and muscle tension, apply heat for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. If youre treating more severe or widespread pain, longer heat sessions such as a bath or sauna may last from 30 minutes up to two hours.
Weve said it before and well say it again: Heat is an excellent way to ease pain and relax muscles. However, if you find yourself relying on heat over a long period without decreases in your pain levels, consult with your doctor. Heat is a good tool, but its not a substitute for necessary medical intervention.
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How Long Can I Use Heat Or Ice On The Affected Area
The main key to using heat or ice, is to not leave it on the affected area for more than 10-20 minutes at a time. If you leave it on for longer periods of time, you can do damage to the skin or the surrounding area by changing changing the flow of blood. Ice constricts blood flow and heat increase blood flow. Always use a thin layer between your skin and the heat or ice to help prevent potential damage to the skin.
Do you have any questions? Call the clinic closest to your location or to schedule your appointment now. No referral needed!
Heat Or Ice For Bursitis
Symptoms: light to strong pulling in the joint, restriction of the range of motion, pain in the joint area during movement
Inflammation of the bursae occurs due to wear and tear of the joint areas tendons and muscles. The bursa is the so-called oil of the joint, which takes over the bones painless friction. However, if the bursae are over-strained, painful inflammation in this area occurs.
Should you apply HEAT OR ICE FOR BURSITIS
In the case of bursitis, using ice is essential as it has an anti-inflammatory effect. This method has proven to be effective. It is advisable to immobilize the affected joints to prevent chronic progression.
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