Hot and Cold Therapy

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Heat Therapy 

How it works

Heat therapy functions by amplifying circulation and encouraging heightened blood flow to a targeted area, a result of elevated temperatures. The slight increase in temperature within the affected region possesses the capability to alleviate discomfort and augment muscle flexibility. 

This therapeutic method not only instigates a soothing impact on muscles but also facilitates the relaxation of tissues, nurturing the recuperative journey of impaired bodily structures. The utilization of heat therapy thereby plays a crucial role in establishing a milieu conducive to both muscle relief and the repair of damaged tissues.


Types

There are two different categories of heat therapy, one being dry heat and the other moist heat. The ideal goal for heat therapy is to achieve a ‘warmth’ rather than a high level of heat. 

  • The first type is dry heat, this can involve dry heating packs, heating pads and another similar heat therapy is a sauna. This type of method has proven to be effective depending on the situation. 
  • The second type is moist heat, this can include heat gels, hot baths and similar products. Moist heat has been known to be a little bit more effective, but also requires less application time to achieve the same results. 

When using heat therapy, you can choose between different treatments such as: Local, Regional and Whole Body Treatment. 

  • Local Treatment: Small Heated Gels or Gel Packs if you aim to treat a small area or injury. 
  • Regional Treatment: This is certainly best for more widespread injuries, pains or even stiffness. This again can be achieved using Gel packs, heated packs, a steamed towel or even heat wraps. 
  • Full Body Treatment: This is what it says on the tin, this usually includes sauna or hot baths. 


When should you not use Heat Therapy

Heat Therapy should be used very carefully, and on occasions it’s not usually recommended. Often when there is bruising or swelling, cold therapy is usually the go to choice. Additionally, heat therapy should definitely not be used on an open wound, but once a scab has formed - it can usually help recovery time. Heat Therapy is not a good form of treatment for those with medical conditions, such as: 

  • Vascular Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis 
  • Diabetes
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis


If you have either hypertension or even heart disease, you should certainly ask your doctor before using heart therapy.


Cold Therapy


How it works

Cryotherapy, commonly referred to as cold therapy, operates by diminishing blood circulation to a specific region. This reduction in blood flow can notably alleviate inflammation and swelling, particularly in the vicinity of joints or tendons, thereby addressing associated pain. Additionally, it has the capacity to temporarily diminish nerve activity, contributing to pain relief.


Types

There are a number of types of cold therapy available on the market, depending on how you wish to treat the affected area, and how large the area is. Some of these treatments include: 


Other types of Cold Therapy treatment can sometimes include the following:

  • Cold Therapy Chambers - commonly used for footballers and other sports stars. 
  • Cryokinetics - Cold treatment combined with active exercises. 
  • Cryo Stretching - cold therapy aimed at reducing muscle spasms and other related issues


When should you not use Cold Therapy

Individuals experiencing sensory issues, circulation issues, or similar conditions are advised to refrain from utilizing cold therapy. Those with sensory disorders may risk exacerbating their condition rather than benefiting from the treatment. Diabetes is one example of a condition falling within this category.