Call Us: 1300 975 980

Cold vs Heat Therapy

Cold vs Heat Therapy

Cold vs heat therapy, which one is best for your injury?

Cold therapy often called cryotherapy is the use of ice. Ice should be applied immediately after an injury has occurred. Ice will numb pain, reduce inflammation and bruising of the injured area due to vasoconstriction of the blood vessels. This is most effective when done within 24-48 hours of the injury.

We recommend wrapping a gel ice pack or bag of frozen vegetables with a tea towel before applying to the skin for 20 minutes then have a rest time of 40-60 minutes between applications to prevent frostbite. Use ice for up to2-3 days.

Heat therapy, referred to as thermotherapy, should be used on chronic injuries or injuries older than two-three days with no inflammation. It can be used to reduce pain, relax or soothe sore muscles and to increase range of motion. Applying heat to an inflamed area will dilate the blood vessels, increasing blood flow which in turn warms the underlying tissues reducing sore and tightened muscles. Thermotherapy improves circulation which can also help eliminate build-up of lactic acid waste, which often occurs after certain exercises. We recommend using a microwaveable wheat bag per the manufacturer’s instructions. A towel should be wrapped around the heat pack before applying to skin to prevent burns. Apply for 30 minutes then have a rest time of 60 minutes between applications up to 3 times per day.

Both ice and heat have are potentially harmful if used poorly. Do not apply heat to acute injuries. It will increase inflammation and can delay healing. Do not use heat or cold therapy over areas of skin with poor circulation, neuropathy, infection and if uncontrolled diabetes. Ice and heat when used correctly can help your pain, but if the pain is persisting it is best to speak to your podiatrist for advice and an examination.

 

 

Latest News

  • BONE

    Sesamoiditis

    Sesamoids are small bones connected by tendons to muscles most commonly found in the big toe. Sesamoiditis generally happens when those tendons become inflamed. This condition can be the result of overuse, strain, or trauma. High activity sports like netball or dancing, and regular wear of high heels or tight shoes are all contributing factors […]

    Date:6 September 21, 2020
  • BONE

    Osgood Schlatter Disease

    Osgood-Schlatter disease is a common reason for knee pain in developing adolescents. It is the inflammation and irritation of the area just below the knee; where the patella tendon in the knee attaches to the shinbone. It most often occurs during puberty with growth spurts, when bones, ligaments and muscles are rapidly changing. Physical activities […]

    Date:6 September 2, 2020
  • ARTHRITIC FOOT CARE

    Pes Anserinus Tendonitis

    Pes Anserinus Tendonitis or Pes Anserinus Bursitis is the inflammation of the little sacs of fluid, called ‘bursa’, between the joint of the shin and surrounding muscles of the knee. This inflammation can be caused by friction, irritation, and pressure. Pain is most often felt on the inside of the knee, underneath the joint. Cause: […]

    Date:6 August 10, 2020
  • CIRCULATION

    Gout

    Gout is a condition caused by the build-up of uric acid, generally it affects your big toe and knee joints but can also affect your fingers, wrists, elbows Symptoms There are 2 types of gout, asymptomatic gout, which is when there is a build-up of uric acid but there are no visible signs or symptoms; […]

    Date:6 June 24, 2020
  • NAILS

    Onychogryphosis

    Onychogryphosis or ‘Ram’s Horn’, is a nail condition that is formed by slow growth of the nail plate or when one part of the toenail grows at a faster pace that the other. It is identified by thick or curvy yellowish colour on the toenails, most frequently the big toenail. Curving nails Infection Ingrown toenails […]

    Date:6 April 30, 2020
  • BONE

    Heel Pain

    The heel is padded support of fatty tissue surrounding the heel bone that holds its shape even with the pressure of body weight and movement. It helps to protect the structures of the foot, including the calcaneus, ligaments and muscles. What Causes Heel Pain? Heel pain is a very common foot condition, some of the […]

    Date:6 March 23, 2020

* indicates required