Hot water or ice bottle? How to orient yourself

to muscle strains, up to inflammation, with ice packs or heating pads. But when do you have to resort to one and when to the other? As a general rule, it is good to know that the ice pack is useful for acute wounds, inflammation and swelling. The hot water bag, on the other hand, is good for pain and muscle stiffness.

, increasing the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the area. Raising the temperature of the affected area, even slightly, can soothe discomfort and promote muscle flexibility. Heat therapy can relax and soothe muscles and heal damaged tissue.

. This is a heat that is easy to apply.
Moist heat, or "convection heat," includes sources such as steamed towels, moist warming compresses, or hot baths. Moist heat can be slightly more effective and take less time to apply to generate the same results.

Professional heat therapy treatments can also be used. The heat from an ultrasound, for example, can be used to relieve pain in tendonitis.

When applying heat therapy, you can choose to use local, regional or generalized treatment for the whole body. Local therapy is best for small areas of pain, such as a stiff muscle. Small heated gel packs or a hot water bottle can be used if you want to treat a wound only locally. Regional treatment is best for the most common pain or stiffness and could be achieved with a steamed towel, flat iron. large electric or heat packs. Full body treatment includes options such as saunas or a hot bath.

. Also, heat therapy shouldn't be applied to an "area with an open wound."
People with certain pre-existing conditions should not use heat therapy due to the increased risk of burns or complications from applying heat. These conditions include: diabetes, dermatitis, vascular disease, deep vein thrombosis, multiple sclerosis (MS).
Anyone with heart disease or high blood pressure should consult their doctor before using heat therapy. Pregnant women should seek advice from their gynecologist before using saunas or hot tubs.

. Cold can also temporarily lower nervous activity, which can further contribute to pain relief.

  • coolant spray;
  • ice massage;
  • ice baths;
  • criostretching, which uses cold to reduce muscle spasms during stretching;
  • cryokinetics, which combines cold treatment and active exercise and can be helpful for ligament sprains;
  • cold therapy chambers for the whole body.
  • and reduced sensitivity. Cold therapy should not be used on stiff muscles or joints. Cold therapy shouldn't be used even in case of poor circulation.

    , as it can cause skin and tissue damage. After an injury, use ice as soon as possible, for short periods of time, several times a day. Never exceed 20 minutes of cold therapy at a time to prevent nerve, tissue and skin damage.

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