Hot and Cold Therapy


Today many of us suffer from the nagging aches and pains located in our muscles and joints. Whether our pains are from diseases like multiple sclerosis, arthritis or fibromyalgia, or we have pulled muscles or acquired sprains from sports, therapies such as hot or cold compress applications may assist us in offering some relief which may get us back to what we love most – enjoying life itself!

Hot and cold therapy has been studied as early as 1918. Cold therapy has proven to be effective in reducing inflammation (heat, swelling, soreness) in injured ligaments while hot therapy increases blood flow to the muscles, all of which control the pain level and edema (fluids) of our injuries and soreness.

It has been reported that 10-20 minutes of therapy is most appropriate whether you are using either hot or cold therapy. Cold therapy has been traditionally used for immediate therapy of sprains, strains, fractures and other inflammatory conditions. In addition, cold therapy has been practiced for chronic pains such as migraine headaches, tendon injuries and tension. It is stated that application of cold increases the patients’ pain threshold by decreasing spasticity and excitability of free nerve endings and peripheral nerves, thus offering pain reduction.

Heat is useful in the rehabilitation phase of injuries. Heat therapy is effective for repetitive strain injury when coupled with massage and relaxation exercises. Heat alters the viscous flow properties of collagen to relieve joint stiffness (connective tissues become more elastic and are able to move freely.) It has been reported that “moist” heat is more effective than “dry” heat in that it penetrates deeper into the muscle, offering more relaxation to the muscle and joints.

Hot and cold therapy products are readily available at Medex01.com and come in many shapes and designs to offer therapy for all parts of the body. There are products that have the ability to be used for both applications-hot or cold and others are for a specific use only. It is imperative that when using these types of products, you follow the manufacturer’s directions for use. Too much cold can cause extensive nerve damage and too much heat can cause burns.

Additional tips to to keep in mind :

1. Heat should not be applied to sensitive skin as the patients may not be able to perceive discomfort and realize the temperature should be lowered.

2. Never use topical analgesics such as “Ben Gay” or others when using heat therapy, as the chemicals in these medications increase blood flow to the surface of the skin and may hamper the thermoregulatory response of heat redistribution, causing severe burns.

For addition information on hot and cold therapy, consult your physician.

Buy Hot/Cold therapy products at MedEx01.com

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