Hot/Cold Packs to Help Injuries/Chronic Pain

Hot/Cold Packs to Help Injuries/Chronic Pain

When you have an injury or you suffer from chronic pain, the only thought that comes to your mind is to get relief as soon as possible. Some people use hot pack while others find cold pack is the best choice. There are only some people who have complete knowledge on how temperature affects the muscles. The use of hot or cold pack matters a lot because it can either help you in healing or increase your pain. So you must be completely aware of your condition before using any of the packs.

Effects of Temperature

A cold treatment gives a quick relief. It reduces the blood flow into the injured area which decreases the temperature of the local tissues and this minimizes swelling. Mini injuries that last a day or two can be treated with cold packs.

Heat treatment is best for muscle soreness or chronic pain. It increases the blood flow and relaxes the sore muscle. The best time for a hot treatment is before a workout or exercise because it increases the flexibility of muscles. Use of heat after a tough physical activity can cause a lot of pain which can slow down the healing process.

What Is A Hot Pack?

A hot pack provides heat. It is used to ease pain in case of muscle soreness and chronic injuries like strains, whiplash, arthritis, sprains and muscle spasms. It is available in following forms:

  • Heating pad
  • Hot water bottle
  • Towel soaked in warm water
  • Gel packs
  • Heat wraps
  • Microwaved sock (filled with rice)

When You Should Not Use Hot Packs?

A hot pack must not be used immediately after an injury, as you are not completely aware of your condition. A hot pack must not be used for more than 20 minutes at a time. Moreover, it is not good to use if your pain lasts a day or two.

What Is A Cold Pack?

A cold pack gives a cooling effect. It can be used to ease pain caused due to mini injuries. These injuries mainly occur as a result of the workout or any other tough physical activity. It is available in the following forms:

  • Ice towel
  • Ice packs available at a drug store
  • Plastic bag (filled with ice and water)
  • Bags of frozen corn or peas
  • Gel packs

A cold pack must be wrapped in a cloth because direct contact with cold is harmful for the skin. Always consult your doctor before using a cold pack if you have blood vessel disorders or diabetes. A cold pack must not be used for more than 20 minutes at a time and this process should be repeated after every 6 hours.