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Hot Or Cold?

Published on September 23rd, 2015

If you have an injury or ailment mild enough to not warrant a doctors’ visit, but are still in pain, consider using either ice or heat to help relieve your discomfort. However, sometimes it is hard to know whether your pain will heal better with a hot or cold remedy. If you are experiencing any of the following problems, heating pads or ice packs will likely alleviate your discomfort.

Heat:

  1. Arthritis: Use a hot washcloth and place on the affected area. The moist heat will ease stiff joints that have worn away cartilage, such as your shoulder, knees, and more.
  2. Neck spasm: Sometimes brought on by headaches, neck spasms can be assuaged by putting a hot towel on the back of your neck. The heat relaxes the muscles, which have tightened due to the spasm.
  3. Tendinosis: The tendons attached to your joints often experience irritation and stiffness. After any inflammation has decreased, a heating pad on the affected joint can relieve the stiffness you feel.

Ice:

  1. Gout: If you are experiencing a gout flare-up, ice can calm the area, such as the wrist, ankle, or knee. On top of calming the flare-up, an ice pack can help numb the pain.
  2. Headache: When you feel a headache coming on, ice is good for any throbbing pain. You can put the ice pack on the back of your neck or on your forehead.
  3. Strains and Sprains: A strain deals with pulled muscles, often in your leg, and a sprain is either a tearing or stretching of your ligaments in your joints. However, both experience inflammation and pain, which ought to be treated with ice. Once the ice has reduced the inflammation, a heating pad can be used to relieve any stiffness that is left over. If the strain or sprain is serious enough, it is important to contact a doctor while icing the injury right away.

With any pain, it is important to realize that if it is serious, contact a professional. At Sports Injury Centers, we can help with many of these injuries. If ice or heat is only providing limited relief, schedule an appointment with us today!

Courtesy of: Cleveland Clinic


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