There is absolutely zero doubt that you can use a hot & cold pack for pain relief. But how do you know for sure if you need ice or heat? The rule of thumb is to use heat therapy if you have chronic muscle pain or stiffness, whereas if an acute injury is present, a cold compress the best thing in the world for you.
Knowing exactly which one you need will greatly increase the chances of the treatment being effective. Finally, in some cases, such as arthritis both hot and cold therapies may be appropriate.
Hot therapy boosts the temperature of a particular area. This improves circulation and intensifies blood flow. Even a slight increase of local temperature soothes discomfort and enhances muscle flexibility. Heat therapy heals damaged tissues and relaxes stiff muscles.
A hot pack works best if applied for extended periods of time, unlike an ice pack which must be limited to a maximum of 20 minutes. If you have moderate to severe stiffness, tension, or pain you will benefit from a longer session of heat treatment.
Cold pack therapy aka cryotherapy on the other hand reduces circulation and decreases the flow of blood to a particular area. Nerve conduction is also diminished. With a cold compress you can quickly relieve pain, reduce swelling and inflammation. An ice pack is especially effective for post-surgical recovery and after sport related injuries.
If an injury occurred, you should apply cold treatment as early as possible. Administer our Hot & Cold Pack for Pain Relief for short time periods several times a day. Limit the treatment session to a maximum of 20 minutes in order to prevent skin and nerve damage. For best results try elevating the injured area.
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