Should I Use Heat or Cold Therapy?

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Should I Use Heat or Cold Therapy?

The use of modalities is helpful to reduce pain, improve the body’s ability to heal, and enhance overall function. Heat and cold therapies are two modalities that are traditionally used to address impairments and functional limitations of patients. There are differences between the two, but both are helpful and can be included within an individuals plan of care.

Increases metabolic activityDecreases metabolic activity
Increases blood flowDecreases blood flow
Decrease painDecrease pain
Increases tissue extensibilityDecrease inflammation
Moist Heat Pack

What kind of products can I use?

You can certainly use some items around the house to be able to utilize these modality options.  Some individuals may choose to take a towel and soak it with hot water or even take ice cubes and place them into a plastic bag.  However, there are some products available I believe that can be very beneficial to get the full therapeutic benefit.

Relief Pak® moist heat packs and covers are a simple and effective method of applying moist heat. The moist heat packs provide 30 minutes of therapeutic moist heat to soothe discomfort from stiff neck, backache, arthritis, sprains, and bruises. The pack can be heated in water on a stove, in a microwave or in a heating unit. When treatment is complete, the pack can be stored for future use. Always apply moist heat pack with a Relief Pak® cover or a heavy towel completely wrapped around the pack.

Relief Pak® Cold n' Hot® Compress

The Relief Pak® Cold n’ Hot® Compress has a comfortable soft fabric that conforms to the curves of your skin. Fabric is gentle on the skin, frost-free, and washable. Put the pack in microwave or chill in freezer. When heated, soothes discomfort from stiff neck, backache, arthritis, sprains, and bruises. When chilled, soothes discomfort from injury, sprains and strains, muscle soreness, bruises, swelling and tension headaches. The non-toxic, non-crystallizing gel allows pack to contour and stay pliable when heated or chilled. The pack can be used with standard Velcro hook to hold pack in place. 

Relief Pak® Cold n’ Hot® Donut® Compression

Relief Pak® Cold n’ Hot® Donut® Compression Sleeve compress offers heat therapy, cold therapy, and compression. The roll-on pack is easy to apply and stays in place without straps. The pack provides cold or hot treatment to soothe discomfort from arthritis, sprains, strains, bruises, and swelling. Simply heat pack in microwave to make warm, or chill in freezer to make cool. Each pack comes with a compression sleeve to wear between the pack and your skin. The product is non-toxic.

Please consult with a qualified healthcare professional before using these products.

Article Written By Eric Trauber, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS, FAAOMPT