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You have pain and swelling, but should you reach for an ice pack or a heating pad to find relief? The purpose of heat or cold therapy is to temporarily make you feel better so you can move easier. If you’re trying to decide between cold therapy and heat therapy, ask yourself the following questions:
Conditions where cold therapy works best
Conditions where heat works best
Conditions where heat or cold may work best
According to the Arthritis Foundation, heat or cold may help with arthritis pain. It is often a matter of trial and error to find which works better for you.
Examples of heat treatments
Possible heat treatments are a warm bath/shower, hot water bottle, and moist heating pad. Heat should be comfortably warm and applied for 20-30 minutes. Use caution to avoid burns and check for extreme redness. Do not fall asleep when using an electric heating pad and remove jewelry on and around the area being heated. Pregnant women, children, and people with a history of multiple sclerosis should avoid heat therapy.
Examples of cold treatments
Cold treatment options include the use of an ice pack made of ice cubes, commercial ice packs, or a basin of cold water for hands and feet. During icing, watch for hypersensitivity or allergies related to cold indicated by increased burning or cold reactions that last longer than several minutes.
Heat and cold therapy are just some of the features in the Sheltering Arms Rest and Recovery program. Whole-body vibration, stretching, and Hypervolt percussion massage are also offered through this program for all fitness levels. To find out how this program can be beneficial to your specific needs or to schedule a session, call (804) 764-5275 or click here.