In this fast paced world, where everyone is hopping from one place to another, it is sure to take a toll on your body and result in extreme fatigue. But, for every pain and discomfort, it is advisable to avoid the intake of medicines or pills since they are not an answer to each and every problem. Moreover, people these days are using hot and cold gel packs to treat their physical pain effectively. This heat and cold therapy has been followed since ages for pain and inflammation and has effectively worked upon the injured area. The recovery gets faster when practitioners use these therapies properly and the patient gets to start his regular activity again.
When is it advisable to you use a heated gel pack?
There are two ways to use heat packs. One is superficial and another is deep. Superficial heat therapies are given to those with pain and muscle spasms. Deep heat therapies are used in those who are suffering from chronic pains for a long time.
There are two types of heat therapies: dry heat and moist heat.
- Dry Heat: This is also known as conducted heat therapy and is given through heating pads, dry heating packs and also hot sauna bath which relaxes the muscles very smoothly.
- Moist Heat: This is also known as convection heat. This type of heating sources includes steamed towels, moist heating pads and of course hot baths
Heat therapies could be used on a local or for whole body region. Professional treatments are sometimes required when you are going for entire body treatment.
- Heat Gel Packs or therapies are fruitful for muscle aches and pains that can grow due to some instantaneous jerking or extra strain on muscles due to exercise or some accident. A heat pack in this situation acts like a miracle. When applied to the affected area, it restarts the blood flow and instigates the healing. The pain also subsides with time and care.
- For a joint pain, the heat therapy works as a miracle. It could also be used as a warm up method before starting your workout.
- An additional advantage of using heated gel packs is does not hold risk of getting electric shock unlike heating pads which uses electricity to work
- It works well in those conditions where the pain is chronic and can be applied directly to skin unlike cold packs.
- Patients suffering from arthritis can very well use the heat therapy to treat the ever-growing pain. It provides them momentary relief and encourages easy movement of muscles.
- All kinds of muscle sprains and muscle spasms can be treated with the help of heat gel pack.
- Giving heat gel packs to your required body part could lessen the effect of cold weather and fill our senses with a soothing effect.
- A hot water bath or sauna has medicinal effects in relaxing the constricted or spasm of muscles. It influences the sensory parts in your body parts and you feel rejuvenated with this kind of shower. Even a massage afterwards can prove equally helpful.
Though these therapies are relaxing to muscles these should be avoided
- When the affected area has a cut or is an open wound. Heat therapies in such conditions would increase the blood flow which is not the requirement of the condition.
- Diabetic patients should avoid heating packs.
- People suffering from Dermatitis, Vascular diseases, thrombosisand multiple sclerosis should also avoid any kind of heat treatment on their body.
When is it advisable to use a cold gel pack?
The other name for a cold therapy or compression is “cryotherapy” where one uses cold gel packs or ice cubes to lessen their pains. Cold therapies are generally seen to be used by sports person if they get hurt or might develop some kind of inflammation.
Cold therapies could be given in many ways:
- Ice gel packs
- Coolant spray
- Ice massage
- Ice baths
- Cryostretching- which is used to reduce the muscle spasms through cold treatments.
- Cryokinetics-Useful in case of ligament or muscle sprain, which includes a combination of exercise and cold therapy.
- A very scientific effect of using such a therapy is that when applied on skin, it reduces the metabolic rate, inflammation, blood circulation, muscles spasms etc.
- Vasoconstriction or shortening of blood vessels can be effectively treated by cold gel packs. The blood which gets narrowed, reduces the blood flow in the vessel which needs a bit of loosening. All this could be treated when you are using a cold pack to go with it.
- On a condition of some sharp or acute pain, cold packs seem effective as creates a numbing effect on the damaged area.
- Ice packs are certainly useful in case of some superficial burn cases; it soothes the burning sensation that keeps on lingering for a long time inside one’s skin.
- It reduces the swelling around the area and minimises the chances of internal bleeding as well.
Cold therapies have magical healing treatments but it should be avoided when the person has no sensation or is numb because ice can enhance the numbing sensation on body and bring more damage to it. For stiff muscles or joints, cold therapies don’t work. It is the hot therapy that loosens up the muscles. If any location in the body is suffering with lower blood circulation, then cold therapy should be avoided as it might block the circulation.
The Alternate Therapy of Hot and Cold:
This alternate therapy has a name called as contrast therapy which has been an effective healing mechanism for many years. When applied in a consecutive fashion it opens up body’s pain points and exert a positive psychological effect on it. This also creates a calming effect for those who are suffering for a long time from musculoskeletal ailments. This contrast therapy has proven useful in repairing damage tissue, muscle tears, chronic joint pains or some overuse injuries. The hot and cold that are given consecutively opens up and closes the blood vessels creating a more pumped up blood flow environment.