When you get injured, it's important to take action right away in helping to heal. When treating injuries with heat therapy or cold therapy, you need to know why and how to use controlled temperature in order the maximize your results and get better as soon as possible. And although you can go by the general concept of ice for injury and heat for chronic pain, muscles, and stress, that rule is not always true.
When you use cold to treat an injury, you are helping to control inflammation. Ice is especially useful right after you get hurt initially, in order to control swelling and help to numb the pain. When using cold therapy, you want to avoid putting it on most muscles, because the cold can send the muscle into spasms. However, that isn't always the case: if you strain or sprain a muscle, you'll still want to apply some ice in order to help minimize swelling. But you need to be sure to use cold therapy in moderation, in order to ensure that you won't suffer from adverse side effects.
Another factor that could impact your decision to use cold therapy is whether you have an adverse reaction to ice. For example, individuals that suffer from cold hives (Cold Urticaria) should avoid icing any injury, because it could cause your skin to react negatively and make the injury worse. If you suffer from cold urticaria, you should consider using a coolant spray instead, because it will provide your injured area with the relief of using cold, without actually applying an actual cold substance to the skin.
You should use heat therapy when you have muscle pain, chronic pain, or even stress. Heat will help to relax your muscles, and therefore help to alleviate pain. Especially if you are an athlete with muscle aches and pains, you'll want to be sure to avoid ice and use heat instead.
Heat therapy is also more relaxing for the person who uses it. It goes beyond helping to alleviate pain in certain areas of the body, as it will also help to combat against stress. But with any kind of treatment, you want to be sure to use an appropriate amount of heat. If the heat is too much, you could potentially burn yourself. And if you end up burning an already injured area, then you're not going to feel better, but only worse.
Additionally, you want to avoid heat therapy on a new injury, because it can make a swollen area swell even worse. Swelling naturally occurs around newly damaged tissue, and heat can aggravate that process. Again, finding the right treatment method for your injury and your specific situation is crucial if you want to find relief. If the treatment worsens the swelling or even lengthens the amount your injury takes to heal, chances are there is a better alternative.
Buy Products For Both
When you are putting together a medical kit for yourself, or just want to be prepared at home for any potential injury, a great rule of thumb is to buy products that can easily treat injuries using either hot or cold therapy. Products that can multitask allow you to have exactly the right type of treatment, when you need it. And by remembering to ice new injuries and use heat for muscles and chronic pain, you'll be sure to help yourself on your road to recovery.
Pain and injuries are never fun. However, when you know how to properly treat them with either hot or cold therapy, and in some instances a combination of both, your body with thank you. To find the right products for your injury needs, please contact us.