Hot and Cold Compression Therapy

Hot and cold therapy is one of the best methods to relieve any kind of pains. Choosing between which therapy to use can be mind boggling to anyone who is searching for a quick relief for their pain. People need to differentiate between the two to be able to find out what treatment is the best for your pain. You need to know its effect and its mechanics on how it can relieve pain. The most important thing above all is to know when to apply both of this treatment.

Hot compress is the application of heat to any part of the body to relieve certain kinds of pain. It can be applied in many kinds or forms such as hot water, hot towel heating pads, deep heating rubs, and ultrasound. All of these tools can help in applying hot compress to your affected part. On the other hand, ice is used for cold compress, it can also relieve pain. Cold compress can reduce both swelling and pain in the affected area of the body. In cases such as pulled muscles and strains cold compress is very useful.

Both of these treatments can only offer short term relief but it is very helpful for people who are experiencing different kind of pain. Sometimes pains can occur many times and these treatments can eliminate the pain quickly. Continuous application of hot and cold compress can increase blood circulation that can result in good health. The required time for this hot and cold compress is only 20 minutes, but it can be used more often if needed until swelling and pain diminish.

People should be careful not to overdo ice compresses because they can cause frostbite. Similarly, application of hot compress should not be more than 20 minutes because it can overheat the tissue on the affected part of your body. You need to observe a two to four hours interval before using the same therapy again.

Hot and cold compresses can both shock the tissues and the blood vessels on the affected area due to sudden change of temperature. The affected part will be flooded by more white blood cells to fight the infection. But in this process, the circulation of the blood’s red cells in the affected area is blocked by the white blood cells. As you all know, red blood cells carry oxygen that is needed for the normal functioning of each cell. In this case, accumulation of spasms spread through the other parts of the body especially through the leg area. The application of hot and cold compresses can increase blood circulations that carry the oxygen. The hot and cold sensation relaxes the nerves that can trigger the pain signal to the brain.

Hot and cold compresses are both very beneficial if they are used properly on the affected area. It is better to always consult a doctor to accompany the treatment with medication for faster treatment of any pain. Hot and cold are both needed for the body to maintain its normal functions. Homeostasis inside the body is maintained by the equilibrium of hot and cold temperature.

2 comments

  1. Nicasio Reply
    August 13, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Excellent explanation. I somehow tired or sprain a neck muscle on the left side of my throat — too many hours watching movies on computer while waiting for TV to be repaired. Knowing the duration and interval of hot/cold compress was/is vital. I used this before but not with the complete understanding of the pros/cons. Thanks…

  2. Mike Gould Reply
    May 16, 2018 at 1:40 am

    When using both hot and cold compresses, is one applied immediately after the other, and if so, which should be applied first?

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