Hot or Cold Therapy? How to use them? I am often asked about this and in my experience both have a place in rehab.
March Top Tip
Hot or Cold Therapy? How to use them? I am often asked about this and in my experience both have a place in rehab. My advice is to experiment. Find what works best for you in the situation and circumstances you find yourself in.
Do you have an injury? Is it acute or chronic? What type of pain or sensation is it? What do you naturally want to do? Rub it or hold and support it? The list goes on!
Cold therapy, will cool an area down by lowering the temperature, reducing blood supply to the affected area and therefore preventing swelling or helping to reduce the swelling and bruising. It is believed the lower temperature helps to block pain receptors in the brain switching off the sensation of pain in that area.
To use cold / ice safely, always wrap it in a damp tea towel and then place it on the area. Leave it in place for 10-15 mins, probably no more than 20 minutes at a time. Never place ice directly on the skin because it can cause an ice burn. Repeat every couple of hours as necessary.
Heat therapy, will increase circulation and blood supply to the affected area. This increase can bring comfort and reduce the sensation of pain. As a result, heat is good for muscle aches an joint pain.
To apply heat safely: wrap the hot water bottle in a towel or cover before placing on the skin. Make sure it is not too hot to burn yourself and set the timer for up to 15 minutes. Repeat every couple of hours. Be careful not to overuse heat as it can cause congestion and more discomfort in the affected area.
Both have their place in first aid, rehab and prevention. Try them both and see which one you benefit from the most.
Stay safe and if you need any help or rehab information, please get in touch.