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Heat Vs Cold Therapy – Which should I use?

Heat Vs Cold Therapy – Which should I use?

A big Question??

Heat and cold therapy are two most commonly use types of non-invasive pain relief therapies for muscle and joint pain. It is really important to know which one to use because these two therapies are not interchangeable. Each has its use for specific problems. Using heat therapy on a fresh inflammed  muscle instead of ice will aggravate the problem. Using an ice pack on chronic pain or muscle strain is not wise idea.

Let me explain what you should be using it for.

Heat Therapy

You should be using heat therapy to deal with chronic pain that does not involve an injury. When you need to manage pain due to stiffness, aching joints, back spasm etc.… heat therapy is ideal choice. This is because heat therapy increases blood flow and oxygen to affected area to help relieve pain. In my next blog I will explains type of heat therapy.

Benefits of Heat Therapy:

  • Increase blood flow
  • Helps to reduce problems such as spasms
  • Relieves stiff joints by increasing lubrication
  • Promotes the body capacity to eliminate toxins in natural way

Cold Therapy:

Ice pack are applied to injuries: because ice helps to reduce inflammation.

When there is swelling, blood flow to the injury must be slowed down in order to bring down the swelling and reduce pain. Ice therapy is also recommended for breaks or tears that may occur during intense physical activities.

It is ideal to use ice pack as often as possible for 48 hours after the injury.

Benefit of Cold Therapy

  • Decrease the amount of recovery time for injuries
  • When applied on affected area right after injury, the risk of cell death is limited. This helps to prevent long term problems.
  • Reduce the amount of pain you feels after receiving an injury.

When used appropriately, both cold and heat therapy offers many benefits. You just need to make sure that you are using right type of therapy for your problems. Also it’s important to use good quality product and not a cheap one.

Kitchener Physiotherapy & Wellness, provides physiotherapy and massage therapy to residents of Kitchener, ON. We are dedicated to providing one-on-one patient care to get you back to your optimal level of activity following injuries or illness. Our team of fully-licensed, caring professionals starts with evaluating the root cause of your problem, and then creates a personalized treatment plan for you

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