Cold and Hot Therapy: Which Technique to Use and When?
You are not alone if you are thinking to choose Cold & Hot Therapy. This debate is complicated. However, users should focus on these points.
Use of cold therapy is effective immediately after the injury in order to minimize inflammation and swelling.
Never use cold therapy if you have joint or stiff muscles.
Hot therapy is effective to improve range of motion and to relax the sore muscles.
There is no need to apply hot therapy if your injury has a burning sensation.
Here are 4 guidelines to simplify the choice between Cold & Hot Therapy. Remember, these findings are based on scientific reports and facts.
There is a general rule that most of the sudden or acute injuries like muscle tears sprained ankles, inflammation, swelling or bruising can be treated with the help of cold therapy. You should be quick in this matter. Why? The areas or parts close to the injury usually start showing bruising, inflammation or swelling after the injury. This makes a soft appearance. Using cold therapy in this phase improves the blood vessels (reconstruct) in order to maintain the blood flow and pressure. On the other hand, applying cold therapy also limits the flow of blood (fluid) around the injury which minimizes the risk of swelling. Cold therapy also offers a numbing effect to reduce pain.
It is useful to apply the cold therapy for the next 3 to 5 days after having an injury. Cold packs such as coldest ice pack by The Coldest Water are effective to get the above-mentioned results. These ice packs are commonly preferred by the sportsmen and athletes. Athletes manage the inflammation and swelling by using cold ice packs. This also enables them to continue sports activity without any delay. Remember, there is no need to apply ice packs when you start workouts.
The Coldest Water offers a wide range of ice packs (reusable) for instant pain relief. These ice packs are perfect for the occasion as well as regular users.
Cold & Hot Therapy is best for the sore and stiffed muscles. In fact, heating the muscles with a therapy pack helps the muscles to relax. It is also best if you use heat therapy before starting the workouts at the gym. This therapy is similar to warm-up in functioning. It warms up the muscles so brings flexibility. There are several products offering hot as well as cold therapies. These packs are called instant relief packs and these are highly useful for the athletes. Now it is easy to keep the hands free even if you are involved in the sports activities. In contrast to ice pack or cold therapy, the hot therapy should be used after the physical activity.
Choosing the Right Combination:
If you have tried the cold therapy immediately after an acute injury (for a period of 3 to 5 days) then it would be great to replace it with hot therapy. Actually, alternating the therapies helps to reduce pain and relax the muscles.