Did you sprain your ankle or wrist and you don’t have any idea what kind of compress should be applied to reduce your pain? Don’t worry, lots of people are in this kind of situation. In order to help you decide if a cold or hot compress should be placed on your injury, you can find below some information that should be taken into consideration every time you have an accident of this type.
If you injured one of your muscles, even if the affected area is on your shoulders, legs, neck or any other part of your body, the best decision you can make is to use a hot compress. The resulted heat will release your pain and your muscle won’t feel so stiff and inflamed when you touch it with your fingers.
You can also apply a hot compress on your muscles before your daily physical exercises in order to feel more elastic and reduce the risk of being in pain after your workout is completed.
When isn’t hot therapy an answer?
In some cases, hot therapy will make more harm than good. Touch your injured area with your hand, to check if it feels hot. In this case, placing heat on the area will increase the pain that you’re feeling and your injury will get more swollen than before. Of course, strained, overused or pulled muscles are an exception to this rule. On them, you should still place a hot compress but in rest, use a cold one.
Ice should be applied anytime you have an acute injury. Suffering from such an issue is not fun at all and applying ice will considerably reduce the pain and inflammation provoked. You can also benefit from a cold compress if you have a banged site because the bruising level will decrease.
You already discovered that if an injured area feels hot or warm when you touch it, using a hot compress is not a good idea. However, applying ice will put a stop to your pain and control the injury swelling.
When isn’t cold therapy an answer?
Using ice on a strained or pulled muscle is a decision that can aggravate your condition. This also applies if you have overused your muscles and you’re in pain. Besides the fact that, in this case, cold therapy won’t reduce the inflammation, your symptoms may only get worse and the pain you’re feeling will increase fast.
Hot and cold therapy alternation
Experts think that after 3 to 5 days of using cold or hot therapy, depending on which of them suits your injured area, alternation is the decision that will definitely accelerate the entire healing process. Instead of placing the same hot compress on your muscle, use the cold one or vice versa. The change of temperature will result in a supply of oxygen and fresh blood, decreasing the pain and fighting against inflammation.
Knowing how to treat your injuries will definitely help you in the future. While the cold compresses help you in treating acute sores, the hot ones will reduce the pain resulted from your physical exercises! Even if we don’t want you to get injured, now you’ll know how to accelerate the healing process.