The hot vs. cold therapy debate is as old as time. Some people prefer using hot packs to relieve pain while others turn to ice packs and cold therapy to sooth their nerves. Although, there isn't any scientific proof that would suggest one kind of therapy is superior, there are certain instances when one kind of therapy might be more effective and efficient than the other.
Following is a brief overview of when to use hot and when to use cold therapy for pain relief:
Hot therapy works by increasing blood flow to the affected area that relaxes sore muscle, tendons and ligaments, thereby reducing pain. The heat also supplies nutrients and oxygen that helps regain motion and makes movement painless and easy.
Dry as well as moist heat options are available to relieve pain through hot therapy. The dry heat method may dry the skin but the moist heat method helps in greater penetration. The heat may be applied through hot packs, hot water bottle, gel packs and hot water baths.
Hot therapy is used to treat
· Stiff joints
· Chronic muscle pain
· Chronic joint pain
· Lower back pain
· Arthritis pain
Cold therapy works by inhibiting blood flow to the injured area, thereby numbing the pain. The cold slows down circulation, thereby reducing swelling and inflammation and curbing muscle spasms.
Cold therapy uses ice or gel packs for pain relief. These may be wrapped in a thin towel before applying to reduce the sting of cold ice on skin. Hold ice packs or gel packs to skin for only 10 minutes at a time for the best results.
Cold therapy is used to treat
· Sprains, strains
· Bumps, bruises
· Overuse injuries
· Back pain
Hot & Cold packs are extremely helpful in alleviating body pain and aches. Not all hot and cold packs are designed the same so you want to check out warranties and reviews of whichever packs you decide to purchase. Another thing to keep in mind is that a lot of packs now can do both hot and cold therapy so you can purchase one pack from your doctor that is able to do both types of therapy. This article is just to be used as a reference and we suggest contacting your local chiropractor to see which therapy is right for you to get the best results. We at ChiroOne Source only sell chiropractic supplies to chiropractors so we ask that all clinics contact us.