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Heat and ice are necessary forms of first aid treatment, and it has been able to serve so many purposes. In cases like a pulled muscle, inflammation to arthritis, heat, and ice come in handy for treating them. The use of ice packs and heating pads are effective modes of treatment in several different cases of injuries.
This method of treatment is quite affordable and very easy to consume. The only challenge is that people sometimes don’t have an incline in the time and situation that they are meant to apply hot or cold therapy. In some cases, the treatment for an individual might even require both.
It is believed that when you have an acute injury or pain, and the injury is all swelling and inflamed, ice packs are needed in this situation. Then when it is a case of muscle pain or stiffness, the heat pads becomes useful. Learn about the essential aspect of heat and ice therapies.
Different types of ice therapies application can be applied to affected areas. We have the ice massage, ice baths, coolant sprays, and ice packs or frozen gel packs. There are other forms of ice therapies such as cryokinetics that combines exercises and cold therapy to relieve ligament sprain.
Let’s start with ice therapy. The ice therapy is used to reduce inflammation and swelling that has led to pains from the tendon and joint injury. The ice therapy works by reducing the flow of blood going to a particular area. The ice therapy, which is also called cryotherapy, reduces the activities of the nerves temporarily and relieve pains.
We also have cyrostretching in which ice is used to reduce muscle spasm when as one stretches. Also, we have cold therapy for the whole body chamber. It is imperative to know when to apply the ice therapy and when not to.
How to Apply Ice Therapy
It is important to note that you should not apply frozen ice to the skin directly. It could cause damage to the tissues and skin. In the home, if you want to apply the ice treatment, it is good to wrap the ice packs in a towel and bath the affected area.
- This application should be as quick as possible just after the injury.
- The ice therapy should be used multiple times in the day in short periods.
- It should be in the intervals of not more than 20 minutes at a time in order to prevent the damage of the nerve, skin, and
- This application should be done within 4 to 6 hours for three
- Another way to apply the ice therapy is by total soaking or immersion in cold water, and the individual will be massaged with ice cubes in the affected areas for 2 to 5 times per day.
- The massage should not exceed 5 minutes to prevent ice burn.
- When it comes to ice massage, it is possible to apply the ice on the skin directly due to the ice not staying in a place.
- Note that you should not apply ice on the bony part of the spinal column in the case of an injury.
The heat therapy works with improving circulation and flow of blood in some particular areas of the body when the temperature is increased. When the temperature in the area is increased, discomfort can be relieved, which can cause the flexibility of the muscle to increase. It can also heal damaged tissues and relax muscles.
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The heat therapy come in two different types, which are the dry heat, which includes heating packs. It is simple to apply. Then the moist heat which is derived from heat towels, moist heating packs, or hot bath. It can be more productive and involves less time for the application to achieve the desired result.
You just went on a Ski trip with your friends, and you had a great time. However, an unexpected stranger is lurking around, pain. What do you do? You are about to bend down and touch the spot, but something else is there, preventing you from achieving that, it feels familiar. You remember that was the complaint a loved one with Osteoarthritis gave recently, it is muscle stiffness again, what could you have done then, and what can you do now? These painful conditions require a hot water bottle or a heating pad. You can take it a step further and immerse yourself in a hot tub and relax and let the heat do the rest. However, make sure not to dilute the hot water with cold water so as not to burn yourself or your loved one.
How to Apply Heat Therapy
- Heat therapy can be applied by applying some safe heating device like electrical heating pads and hot water bottles.
- You can also immerse the area that is afflicted in a hot water bath with a heat of 90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit which happens to be 33 to 37.7 degree Celsius.
- Heat therapy can also be applied through heated paraffin wax for treatment.
- The introduction of capsicum contained medication like rub and patches are useful for heat therapy.
- Dry heat can be applied for up to 8 hours while the moist heat can be applied for 2 hours because it works faster.
- Heat is meant to be applied normally in the affected areas for 20 minutes 3 times a day, while the single-use wraps and patches can be applied in an area for 8 hours continuously.
Heat and Ice therapies are remarkable for relieving mild pain in people. It is quite excellent to use Ice packs or heating pads to ease arthritis, inflammation, bruises, muscle pull, and sprains. Certain conditions require a specific option of either the cold one or the hot option. The challenge is to know whichever brings resolution to the specific problem. The consensus is that Ice packs or frozen vegetables are used during a state of acute injury or sudden pain, while heating pads or hot towels are excellent for muscle stiffness or muscle pain. The cool thing about cold and heat therapies is how they can easily be improvised with home remedies. This makes the treatment quite accessible to people as you can open your freezers and ease your pain or that of your loved ones. The same thing goes for heat therapy as your running hot water offers quick access to heat that can be trapped in a towel and used for a prompt massage.