Hot or Cold

The common question is, “Do I use hot or cold?”

HEAT

Heat is therapeutically used to increase the blood flow to the area while bringing nutrients in and toxins out.  An application of 15-20 minutes is commonly giving for home care.  This will temporarily relax tense muscles and relieve pain. Moist heat such as paraffin wax or a thermaphore pad is more effective than dry heat.

Heat is best used for chronic conditions that show no signs of swelling and inflammation.

Do not apply heat without the advice of your therapist if:

  • You have a reduced sense of sensation
  • Any health conditions that involve your circulatory system
  • High blood pressure
  • An acute condition or a swollen area
  • Any other condition that you are unsure about
  • The temperature should never be at an extreme level

How to apply the heat:

  • Wrap the heat source in a layer of fabric to avoid burning
  • Apply heat for a maximum amount of time no more then 15-20 minutes

COLD

Cold is therapeutically used to decrease the the blood flow to the area.  An application of 10-15 minutes is commonly giving for home care.  Ice is used for acute injuries, inflammation, swelling and pain relief.  Ice can be used for sprains, strains, tendinitis, bursitis, migraines, joint pain and more.

Do not apply ice without the advice of your therapist if:

  • You have a reduced sense of sensation
  • Any health conditions that involve your circulatory system
  • Any other condition that you are unsure about
  • The temperature should never be at an extreme level

How to apply the ice:

    • Wrap the cold source in a layer of fabric to prevent tissue damage
    • Apply cold for a maximum amount of time no more then 10-15 minutes
    • Leave enough time for the tissue to fully warm up in between applications (approximately an hour)

 

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