Heat and cold therapy are commonly recommended treatments to relieve ailments like pain and swelling. While both options have been found effective in reducing discomfort and inflammation, cold therapy is considered the superior choice for treating a wide range of conditions.
When you need to take the edge off, heat therapy can be quite useful. It is often used to lessen muscle aching and stiffness and can be an efficient way to manage stress and chronic pain.
Unfortunately, heat also has the potential to cause damage when not used properly. Applying heat to an inflamed area can actually make the inflammation worse. Heat should also never be used on a fresh injury.
Cold therapy, also referred to as cryotherapy, is used to treat swelling, inflammation, and pain, especially around tendons and joints. It works by reducing blood flow to the affected area and temporarily decreasing nerve activity.
There are a number of ways to apply cold therapy, such as ice packs, coolant sprays, and ice baths. For a more reliable and convenient option, consider the Breg Polar Care Cube. Suitable for hospital, clinic, or home use, this cold therapy unit provides 6 to 8 hours of effortless cold therapy.
Which to Choose?
Hot and cold therapy can be invaluable when faced with sports injuries, sprains and strains, muscle soreness, or similar conditions. Cold therapy has been found particularly beneficial in helping the body recover and repair from strenuous workouts, acute injuries, and conditions like muscle spasm, tendinopathies, trigger point pain, or contusion (corked thigh).
It can even be used to manage more common problems like headaches, minor burns, and joint problems like carpal tunnel and TMJ. If you are experiencing pain, swelling, or inflammation, cold therapy is a versatile treatment option with proven health benefits.