When discomfort and soreness strike from injury, strenuous activity, surgery, or any chronic or acute condition, you want relief.
And naturally, you want it fast. You want the freedom to get back into life and the activities you love most. Without stiffness or pain.
To get that relief, if you’re like many others, you reach for something cold or hot.
Cold and heat bring comforting relief, can soothe achy joints and reduce swelling.
As you’ll soon see, whether you choose hot or cold can make a big difference in how you feel and how quickly your injury or condition heals.
Cold and heat accomplish the same end result, but how they do it is what makes the difference. Plus, the type of heat or cold you choose matters, too.
Once you understand the simple workings behind these two basic treatments, you’ll know exactly how to maximize your body's natural healing mechanisms.
What Happens When Your Overwork Your Muscles?
Let’s take a look at what happens when you overdo it – whether from pulling weeds out in your garden or pushing yourself through your workout routine.
When one or more of your muscles go into spasm, your body reacts to this "injury" by sending more white blood cells to the affected site.
These additional white blood cells can interfere with the red blood cells’ routine job of carrying oxygen and nutrients to the injured area. As a result, waste products stagnate and accumulate in the affected tissue.
A lack of oxygen to the site can also stimulate a “pain-spasm cycle,” causing the nerves to send “pain” signals to your brain. In response, your brain contracts the muscles near the injury to close off blood supply and prevent swelling.
This vicious cycle can lead to more spasms and more pain. And unless the cycle is broken, it can continue for years.
One of the best – and easiest ways – to break this cycle is to use heat and cold.
Heat brings more blood to the area, providing much-needed oxygen and nutrients while removing waste products.
Both heat and cold help shut down the nerves that fire the pain signals. When the pain signals can’t reach the brain, muscles don’t contract and constrict blood flow to the injured area.
Applying heat or cold consistently for a sufficient period of time can help break the pain-spasm cycle.
Heat or Cold – Which Works Best?
Since heat and cold can accomplish similar results in the end, how do you know which one to use?
Here’s a good rule to follow:
When an injury first occurs, use cold. This could be discomfort caused by trauma, such as over-exercising, lifting something heavy, or it could be from something as simple as sitting too long in a less-than-optimal position.
Whatever the source of your acute injury, use cold first. Cold lowers the damaged tissue’s temperature and locally constricts blood vessels.
Using cold therapy immediately after an injury helps prevent bruising and swelling from the waste and fluid build-up. Cold also helps numb nerve endings, providing you with instant, localized pain relief.
Ideally, use cold treatments for the first 48 to 72 hours. Apply for 20 minutes, then remove for 20 minutes. Start early, and repeat as often as you can.
What kind of cold treatment should you use?
There’s ice, of course, if it’s available. However, you want to take great care in protecting your skin from the intense cold, so always use a cloth or towel wrap.
Gel packs are an excellent choice, as they’re convenient and easy to use. However, before you choose a gel pack, make sure to familiarize yourself with what’s inside. Many are filled with toxic chemicals that can eventually leak and harm you.
Whichever option you use, to get the best benefits from cold treatment, be sure to use a wrap over the ice pack to improve the contact with your skin and compress the injured area to minimize swelling.
When Heat is the Answer
After the first two or three days of an acute injury, many people prefer the comforting warmth of heat therapy.
Heat therapy aids the flow of blood to the tissue, so it can provide the most benefits during the reparative stage of an injury. Greater blood flow means more oxygen and nutrients to your cells, along with the removal of waste materials.
If your injury is chronic and ongoing without swelling, then heat may be your best choice. Aside from stimulating blood flow, soothing heat helps your muscles relax and can help increase a joint’s range of motion.
Heat is best used with:
- Chronic injuries that are sore or stiff.
- Injured muscles as a pre-workout warm-up.
- Joint discomfort.
Warmth promotes the repair of muscular tissue and helps ease muscular and joint discomfort associated with chronic injuries.
Always use a barrier between the heat and your skin, such as a cloth or towel, to prevent burns. You don’t want to apply heat for any longer than 15 to 20 minutes at a time.
What’s the best way to apply heat?
Probably the one many people tend to use, and the method I do not recommend, is an electric heating pad. Just like electric or heated blankets, these electrical appliances can subject you to potentially dangerous electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs).
Instead, use a heated water bottle or another water-warmed compress.
Alternating heat and cold is often recommended by physical therapists, clinicians, and trainers. Apply heat for 20 minutes and then immediately follow with 20 minutes of cold.
Discover the Affordable, Non-Toxic Solution For Both Hot and Cold Treatment
I have discovered an innovative hot and cold therapy solution that offers some of the greatest advantages for fast and comfortable support for injuries.
And the best part is, you can use it for either hot or cold therapy. In my opinion, this one fact makes this product superior in both convenience and cost.
The professional-grade Premium Hot & Cold Therapy Sleeves are:
- Reusable and durable (cost-effective and reduces waste for the environment).
- Easily interchangeable from hot to cold temperatures.
- Made with non-toxic soft and flexible polyurethane.
- Safe for use in freezer, refrigerator, hot water and microwave.
- Easy to use and stay in place, hands-free.
- Made in the U.S.
Premium Hot & Cold Therapy Sleeves roll on gently, stay put and feel soft and comfortable on your arm, wrist, hand, foot or knee. The non-toxic gel molds to the area of application for deep relief, providing 360° coverage.
The Premium Therapy Sleeves come in three convenient sizes:
- Large – for feet, calves and knees, 6” in diameter x 6” long
- Medium – for hands, wrists and arms, 5” in diameter x 6” long
- Small – for hands, wrists and arms, 4” in diameter x 6” long
Each size also includes one compression sleeve for insulation and injury compression.
You'll appreciate the soothing comfort to your hand, wrist, arm, foot, calf or knee. Whether you suffer from a repetitive stress injury, a pulled muscle, joint stiffness or a chronic ailment, Premium Therapy Sleeves can help you find the relief you’ve been looking for.
Turn to the Ultimate in Comfort Today
When you properly use cold and hot therapy, you are helping nature repair your body without potentially harmful side effects.
Don’t waste your money on expensive one-time-use hot and cold packs.
Help your muscles and tissues find deep and comforting 360° relief with easy-to-use, long-lasting Premium Hot & Cold Therapy Sleeves.
Get the ultimate in comfort, and give your body the support it deserves. Order your Premium Hot & Cold Therapy Sleeves today.
Better yet, order two so you have an instant cold and hot therapy right at your fingertips when you need it most.