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Heat Therapy Health Feed

Pain Management With Hot And Cold Therapy!

Dr. Anusha 90% (26 ratings)
MBBS, Post Graduate in Anaesthesiology, DA DNB Anaesthesiology (Gold Medalist)
Pain Management Specialist, Hyderabad
Pain Management With Hot And Cold Therapy!

Most diseases, small or big, acute or chronic, accident or infection, have one common factor - pain. In most cases, in addition to reducing the severity of the infection or the impact on various structures from the trauma, managing pain assumes a bigger role. It is only when the pain is controlled can the bigger picture of disease management be done, as the patient would be inconsolable.

To this effect, in addition to painkillers, the most inexpensive and easily available modes of pain management are heat and cold. Though all are not aware, there are specific instances where heat and cold should be used as listed below.

Heat: Some of the common modes to heat therapy include heat pads, warm baths, paraffin wax system, hot water bottles, air-activated heat pack, or warm oils. Heat acts by improving blood circulation and nutritional supply to the body parts and is best suited for stiff joints and muscle soreness. 

Some common ways to heat therapy include:
1. A warm shower or bath in the morning - this will ease morning stiffness and get you ready for exercise.
2. Apply a heating pad on the sore/stiff areas for up to 20 minutes - Use optimal, bearable temperature to avoid skin burns.
3. Wrap the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes with a moist heat pad. A wet towel can be put in the freezer and then warmed up in the microwave. Moist heat pads are also available with local pharmacies.
4. Warm mineral oils can be applied to the stiff joints of hands and legs. Leave it in place for 15 to 20 minutes before washing it off.
5. For sore hand and foot joints, warm paraffin wax can be applied using the equipment available at drug stores. This will help ease the pain and soreness. Soak in a warm whirlpool.

Contrary to heat therapy, cold therapy acts by reducing blood flow to the affected area and numbing the nerve endings, thereby reducing the perception of pain. It works well for acute pain cases like fresh injuries and post-exercise inflammation.

1. A cold wrap with ice cubes can be applied to the painful area for about 15 to 20 minutes. This can be repeated if required after a break.
2. Alternately, a wet towel can be put in a plastic bag and kept in the freezer for 15 minutes and then used as a cold pack.
3. The affected joint can be submerged in a container of ice and water.
4. Cold gel packs are available at stores - these won't leak, will stay cold longer and can be easily wrapped around a joint.

Cryotherapy, as cold therapy is also called, is not as effective as heat therapy, though it does provide immediate relief.

Hot And Cold Therapy - A Cure To Arthritis Pain!

Dr. Anusha 90% (26 ratings)
MBBS, Post Graduate in Anaesthesiology, DA DNB Anaesthesiology (Gold Medalist)
Pain Management Specialist, Hyderabad
Hot And Cold Therapy - A Cure To Arthritis Pain!

Arthritis is painful inflammation of the joints caused by excessive amounts of uric acid in the blood. This causes friction in the joints and may cause inflammation among muscle tissues. This is a very painful condition and may even be debilitating for many people. One of the methods used to provide relief from arthritis pain is hot and cold therapy. Let’s have a look at it in detail.

How does hot and cold treatment work’s?

The hot and cold treatments work on various joints or muscle areas and are very effective in lowering pain as well as providing more mobility to the affected areas. Both these therapies try to enable the healing forces within the body and hence improve on the conditions which cause arthritis pain.

Heat treatment therapy: Heat therapy uses the principle of the expansion of material when warmer. If heat is applied to an affected area, it dilates the blood vessels, improves and stimulates blood circulation and also reduces muscle spasms. Heat treatments are very effective in soothing stiff joints and tired muscles as they encourage the flow of blood to the areas being treated. Some of the options available for heat treatments would be:

1. Heats patches that are disposable

2. Heating belts made for specific parts of the body

3. Moist heating pads

4. Simple hot water in a tub

5. Paraffin wax and Mineral oil

6. Hot oil massages

7. Warms showers or baths

8. Warmed towels or clothes used as a hot compress

Cold treatment therapy: Cold uses the very opposite principle of heat therapy to provide pain relief to arthritis patients. Cold has the properties of being able to constrict blood vessels and slow the flow of blood, thus resulting in numbing the area and reducing pain. Cold treatment is also very effective in reducing swelling as it can fight inflammation very effectively. It is mostly useful in cases of acute and chronic pain and is a very good pain reliever. Some of the options available for cold treatments would be:

1. Cold compress by using ice in a waterproof bag with a towel covering it to protect the skin.

2. Buying a medically manufactured ice pack or bag

3. Buying ice gel packs from the medical store which can be frozen and then used

4. Making ice packs at home by mixing water with rubbing alcohol and then freezing it

5. Taking ice bath by pouring ice into the bathtub.

Hot & Cold Therapy - How Effective Is It For Back Pain?

Clinical Fellowship In Pain Management, MD - Internal Medicine, Master Of Public Health (MPH), MBBS
Pain Management Specialist, Hyderabad
Hot & Cold Therapy - How Effective Is It For Back Pain?

Lower back pain can be one of the most physically debilitating things that can affect you and limit your mobility. Even if the pain isn’t that acute, it could still signal something deteriorating in your lower back. While oral medications, topical creams or sprays can help in reducing pain, there are other effective remedies you can try on your own. These will be handy when you have no medications at hand. One of these is the hot and cold therapy.

Heat therapy for lower back pain

Heat works well with lower back pain as it can dilate blood vessels and improve circulation within the tissue. This will help in circulation and also result in lowering the pain. Heat therapy will also loosen up other muscles in the area and help soothe sore areas which have been taking the burden along with the lower back muscles. Some of the techniques that can be applied are:

  • All day heat wraps: These are specially manufactured belts or wraps which wrap around your abdomen and keep tightness and pressure on your lower back as well as supplying heat.
  • Electric heating pads: These are mechanized heating pads which generate heat with electricity. You can place them under you back and then either sit or sleep with it positioned behind you. However, ensure that you don’t keep these for too long as they could burn your skin.
  • Hot Compress with towels or hot water bags: Use a clean towel and heat it over a conductive surface and apply it on your lower back. You can also use hot water bags for the same purpose.

Cold therapy for lower back pain
Cold therapy uses the principle of constriction of blood vessels as well as slowing circulation. This will help numb the area and thus help relieve the pain. Some of the ways these can be administered are mentioned below.

  • Ice towel: In this method, soak a towel in ice cold water, wring it to dry it and then apply on your lower back. This will numb the pain without transferring the sting of the cold or damaging your skin.
  • Ice packs: Put about half a kg of ice in a plastic Ziploc bag and pour water over the ice to just about cover it. Push out the air out of the bag and then lock it. Use this ice pack with a towel to ensure that you back doesn't get wet.
  • Ice gel packs: These are ready made packs, which can be bought from medical stores and kept frozen to be used whenever you need it in order to relieve lower back pain.
1 person found this helpful

Heat Treatment & Sports Injury - How Former Can Help Latter?

Physiotherapist, Navi Mumbai
Heat Treatment & Sports Injury - How Former Can Help Latter?

Heat treatment or thermotherapy is an effective process of healing from a sports injury. Understanding the when and how to use heat treatment is essential since it can even prolong the process of healing when not done properly.

The Process Of Healing-

There are four stages of tissue healing. Each of these has a considerable overlap between each other, even if mentioned separately.

1. The first phase is known as the most acute stage of healing or the bleeding/bruising/swelling phase. This is the short phase immediately after an injury. The extent of this phase depends on the extent of the injury and how many vascular structures are affected.

2. The second phase is called the inflammatory phase. The goal for this phase is to ensure that no further damage happens to the affected area and to stop the first phase. It is during this phase that the blood supply to the area increases causing a build-up of fluid. Heat treatment is not applicable here since it increases the blood circulation and can lengthen the healing process.

3. The third phase is called proliferation. This is the phase where the introduction of scarring and new tissue takes place. This is the post-injury phase and heat treatment greatly helps during this time, with the right kind of stressors (exercises or intervention) followed by cooling.

4. The third fourth phase is known as remodeling. It is the time when the new tissue matures and settles down. Thermotherapy in the form of Heat should be applied in this phase to bring about good extensibility in the tissues.

Injuries that are treatable through Heat Therapy Heat treatments are extremely effective in muscle, and conditions causing aches and pains, spasms and cramps. It can also be applied to ligament and joint injuries like those related to a thumb, turf toe, elbow, wrist sprains and sprained ankles. The idea behind any heat treatment is to make the tissue more extensible by warming it up. Exercises related to a range of motion should be performed immediately as the extensibility of tissues gained with heat will allow for a greater range.

How heat treatment helps in treating sports injuries?

● Heat treatment significantly increases the blood circulation and help to eradicate dead skin and other toxic bodies from the origin of the injury.

● It assists in the metabolism of the cells.

● It increases capillary permeability.

● It increases the number of nutrients and oxygen to the source of injury and speeds up the process of healing.

● Heat treatments can cut down muscle spasms.

Types of Heat Treatments Available:

For heating deep tissues, ultrasound is the safest form of treatment. It can penetrate up to 5 inches beneath the skin. This being said it needs to be administered by a physiotherapist or a PT assistant and in turn, becomes expensive. Then there is superficial heat therapy. This is convenient and readily available. They directly transfer heat from the source to the injury location. Common examples of these are a hot tub, paraffin bath and hot bags. Sometimes dry hot packs may also be used for superficial heating. They produce a steady source of heat and are run by either microwave or electricity. Caution should be taken in order to ensure that the heat does not burn the upper layer of the skin.

How Sports Physiotherapy and Heat therapy complement one another?

Heat therapy forms an integral part of Physiotherapy treatment and is used in combination with other modalities and exercise-based treatment for the following reasons:

• To improve the flexibility of your soft tissue structures.

• To reduce muscle spasms.

• To alleviate pain by releasing endorphins, powerful opiate-like chemicals which block pain transmission.

• To increase blood flow by relaxing the walls of blood vessels which in turn boost metabolism and help when stretching muscles and increasing overall flexibility.

5542 people found this helpful

Hot and Cold Therapy For Lower Back Pain!

Dr. Pratyush Kumar 88% (10 ratings)
MBBS, DNB
General Physician, Patna
Hot and Cold Therapy For Lower Back Pain!

Lower back pain can be one of the most physically debilitating things that can affect you and limit your mobility. Even if the pain isn’t that acute, it could still signal something deteriorating in your lower back. While oral medications, topical creams or sprays can help in reducing pain, there are other effective remedies you can try on your own. These will be handy when you have no medications at hand. One of these is the hot and cold therapy.

Heat therapy for lower back pain - 

Heat works well with lower back pain as it can dilate blood vessels and improve circulation within the tissue. This will help in circulation and also result in lowering the pain. Heat therapy will also loosen up other muscles in the area and help soothe sore areas which have been taking the burden along with the lower back muscles. Some of the techniques that can be applied are:

1. All day heat wraps: These are specially manufactured belts or wraps which wrap around your abdomen and keep tightness and pressure on your lower back as well as supplying heat.

2. Electric heating pads: These are mechanized heating pads which generate heat with electricity. You can place them under your back and then either sit or sleep with it positioned behind you. However, ensure that you don’t keep these for too long as they could burn your skin.

3. Hot Compress with towels or hot water bags: Use a clean towel and heat it over a conductive surface and apply it on your lower back. You can also use hot water bags for the same purpose.

Cold therapy for lower back pain -

Cold therapy uses the principle of constriction of blood vessels as well as slowing circulation. This will help numb the area and thus help relieve the pain. Some of the ways these can be administered are mentioned below.

1. Ice towel: In this method, soak a towel in ice cold water, wring it to dry it and then apply on your lower back. This will numb the pain without transferring the sting of the cold or damaging your skin.

2. Ice packs: Put about half a kg of ice in a plastic Ziploc bag and pour water over the ice to just about cover it. Push out the air out of the bag and then lock it. Use this ice pack with a towel to ensure that your back doesn't get wet.

3. Ice gel packs: These are ready-made packs, which can be bought from medical stores and kept frozen to be used whenever you need it in order to relieve lower back pain.

5751 people found this helpful

Heat & Cold Therapy - How Does It Help Treat Pain?

Dr. Neeraj Jain 85% (20 ratings)
MBBS, MD, FIMSA, FIPP, CIPS - Certified Interventional Pain Sonologist
Pain Management Specialist, Delhi
Heat & Cold Therapy - How Does It Help Treat Pain?

Most diseases, small or big, acute or chronic, accident or infection, have one common factor - pain. In most cases, in addition to reducing the severity of the infection or the impact to various structures from the trauma, managing pain assumes a bigger role. It is only when the pain is controlled can the bigger picture of disease management be done, as the patient would be inconsolable.

To this effect, in addition to pain killers, the most inexpensive and easily available modes of pain management are heat and cold. Though all are not aware, there are specific instances where heat and cold should be used as listed below.

Some of the common modes to heat therapy include heat pads, warm baths, paraffin wax system, hot water bottles, air-activated heat pack, or warm oils. Heat acts by improving blood circulation and nutritional supply to the body parts and is best suited for stiff joints and muscle soreness. 

Some common ways to heat therapy include:

1. A warm shower or bath in the morning - this will ease morning stiffness and get you ready for exercise.
2. Apply a heating pad on the sore/stiff areas for up to 20 minutes - Use optimal, bearable temperature to avoid skin burns.
3. Wrap the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes with a moist heat pad. A wet towel can be put in the freezer and then warmed up in the microwave. Moist heat pads are also available with local pharmacies.
4. Warm mineral oils can be applied to the stiff joints of hands and legs. Leave it in place for 15 to 20 minutes before washing it off.
5. For sore hand and foot joints, warm paraffin wax can be applied using the equipment available at drug stores. This will help ease the pain and soreness. Soak in a warm whirlpool.

Contrary to heat therapy, cold therapy acts by reducing blood flow to the affected area and numbing the nerve endings, thereby reducing the perception of pain. It works well for acute pain cases like fresh injuries and post-exercise inflammation.

1. A cold wrap with ice cubes can be applied to the painful area for about 15 to 20 minutes. This can be repeated if required after a break.
2. Alternately, a wet towel can be put in a plastic bag and kept in the freezer for 15 minutes and then used as a cold pack.
3. The affected joint can be submerged in a container of ice and water.
4. Cold gel packs are available at stores - these won't leak, will stay cold longer and can be easily wrapped around a joint.

Cryotherapy, as cold therapy is also called, is not as effective as heat therapy, though it does provide immediate relief.

4513 people found this helpful

Potli Massage Benefits!

Dr. B Chandra 88% (684 ratings)
Diploma In Traditional Siddha, B.H.M.S
Sexologist, Bilaspur
Potli Massage Benefits!

What is potli massage therapy?
One of the most popular massage therapies practiced in India, potlis have been used in South East Asia, especially in Thailand, as a natural remedy for centuries. Potli massage therapy is done using heated herbal pouches also known as potlis (or poultice) that are used to rejuvenate, relax and nourish the affected area. When these potlis are placed on the body, they have a therapeutic effect. Well, aren’t we all looking for that massage that heals our pain as well as leaves us feeling refreshed?

What do they contain? 
Ayurveda is known to be one of the oldest medicinal traditions in India and potli massage therapy finds its roots in this science. Potlis contain a selection of Ayurvedic herbs, both, fresh and dried, that are carefully chosen based on your Ayurvedic constitution and the issue that you’re being treated for. They are then packed into a muslin cloth and dipped in warm medicated oil (for a wet massage) or sand or some herbal powder (for a dry massage) and then massaged onto specific pressure points that help in healing the body. They also help stimulate blood circulation which promotes faster recovery and healthy skin as well.

How does it work? 
Potli massages work on an age-old philosophy which is based on the confluence of the elements of fire and water combined with specific herbs. When the heated potli is massaged on the body, it opens the pores and relaxes the muscles, allowing the carefully selected herbs to work on the body and mind, the latter being the reason why it is thought of as being very relaxing.

What is it used for? 
The potli massage is often recommended for illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis, spondylitis, frozen shoulders, osteoarthritis and so on. The content of the potli is specific to the illness and the person’s body and is hence it is best that one visits an ayurvedic practitioner or therapist to decide on which one suits your requirement. The treatment helps to relieve pain and inflammation, improve blood circulation and flexibility.

What are the kind of herbs used? 
1. Ashwagandha is used to relax tensed muscles and help reduce stress.

2. Mustard and neem are used to give the skin and body a much needed detox.

3. Turmeric and ginger are used to revitalise and purify the body.

4. Rosemary and rice improve blood circulation and ease tension in the muscles.

5. Aloe vera and onion are used to reduce inflammation.

All of the above herbs can be used singularly or as a combination with other wet or dry herbs as deemed fit by your expert.

2 people found this helpful

I had a lot of back pain and consulted a physiotherapist. He stated that my spine is not aligned and will need correction. So he did some procedures like heat therapy and another machine that gave small currents on my back and then some manual correction in which he was pulling my neck. Anyway I went for one sitting and since then I feel very dizzy when I sleep on my back. Im fine while standing or laying sideways. Is this normal and what should I do to not be dizzy?

Dr. Kailash Kothari 89% (59 ratings)
MD - Anaesthesiology, MBBS
Pain Management Specialist, Mumbai
I had a lot of back pain and consulted a physiotherapist. He stated that my spine is not aligned and will need correc...
If it's an acute pain (4 weeks or less) you should get better with medicines and physio. If it's not resolving or increasing beyond this point, you may have to show the spine and pain specialist, do some tests like X-ray/ MRI and treat it early for complete cure. Hope this helps.
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Ongoing Pain: How to Use Heat and Cold Therapy to Treat It?

Dr. Gautam Das 92% (2429 ratings)
MD, FIPP
Pain Management Specialist, Kolkata
Ongoing Pain: How to Use Heat and Cold Therapy to Treat It?

Most diseases, small or big, acute or chronic, accident or infection, have one common factor - pain. In most cases, in addition to reducing the severity of the infection or the impact to various structures from the trauma, managing pain assumes a bigger role. It is only when the pain is controlled can the bigger picture of disease management be done, as the patient would be inconsolable.

To this effect, in addition to pain killers, the most inexpensive and easily available modes of pain management are heat and cold. Though all are not aware, there are specific instances where heat and cold should be used as listed below.

Heat: Some of the common modes to heat therapy include heat pads, warm baths, paraffin wax system, hot water bottles, air-activated heat pack, or warm oils. Heat acts by improving blood circulation and nutritional supply to the body parts and is best suited for stiff joints and muscle soreness. 

Some common ways to heat therapy include:

  1. A warm shower or bath in the morning - this will ease morning stiffness and get you ready for exercise.
  2. Apply a heating pad on the sore/stiff areas for up to 20 minutes - Use optimal, bearable temperature to avoid skin burns.
  3. Wrap the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes with a moist heat pad. A wet towel can be put in the freezer and then warmed up in the microwave. Moist heat pads are also available with local pharmacies.
  4. Warm mineral oils can be applied to the stiff joints of hands and legs. Leave it in place for 15 to 20 minutes before washing it off.
  5. For sore hand and foot joints, warm paraffin wax can be applied using the equipment available at drug stores. This will help ease the pain and soreness. Soak in a warm whirlpool.

Contrary to heat therapy, cold therapy acts by reducing blood flow to the affected area and numbing the nerve endings, thereby reducing the perception of pain. It works well for acute pain cases like fresh injuries and post-exercise inflammation.

  1. A cold wrap with ice cubes can be applied to the painful area for about 15 to 20 minutes. This can be repeated if required after a break.
  2. Alternately, a wet towel can be put in a plastic bag and kept in the freezer for 15 minutes and then used as a cold pack.
  3. The affected joint can be submerged in a container of ice and water.
  4. Cold gel packs are available at stores - these won't leak, will stay cold longer and can be easily wrapped around a joint.

Cryotherapy, as cold therapy is also called, is not as effective as heat therapy, though it does provide immediate relief.

6228 people found this helpful

Hot And Cold Therapy - Know The Ways It Can Help Treating Pain!

Dr. Ruchi Gupta 88% (79 ratings)
MD - Anaesthesiology, DNB, MBBS, Diploma In Aesthetic Medicine
Pain Management Specialist, Amritsar
Hot And Cold Therapy - Know The Ways It Can Help Treating Pain!

Ice packs and heating pads are the way to go when in pain. Treating pain with hot and cold therapy can be very effective for several conditions or injuries and easily affordable as well. However, the tricky part can be deciding when to apply hot and when to apply cold. At times, the therapy can include both the types.

As a general rule of thumb, ice is used for acute injuries or pain with characteristics of swelling or inflammation and heat is used for easing muscle pain or stiffness. Ultimately, both the therapies work well for treating pain.

How does heat and cold therapy relieve pain?
Both the therapies stimulate the body’s healing response. Heat therapy dilates the blood vessels, promotes blood circulation and alleviates muscle spasms. Additionally, it also alters the sensation of pain. Heat therapy employs heating pads or heating lamps for direct application of heat and also moist heat like warm baths, heated wash cloths or heated pads.

On the other hand, cold therapy constricts the blood vessels, reduces swelling and numbs any deep pain. At first, applying ice may be uncomfortable, but it helps by soothing acute pain. Cold therapy employs ice packs, coolant sprays, ice bath and also cryo-stretching, which uses cold to reduce muscle spasms during stretching.

  1. Using heat and ice. Whether you are using a hot pack or a cold therapy, ensure you apply the right temperature.
  2. When applying heat, it should not be too hot or it may lead to burns or scalds. The skin must be checked at regular intervals. Heat should not be applied to a new injury as it can increase bleeding around the injured area and make it worse. Heat is helpful for the following problems:

    1. Stiff or aching muscles due to strenuous activity or overexertion
    2. Chronic pain conditions of arthritis and fibromyalgia
    3. Muscle spasms or cramping pains
  3. Ice has been used for a long time to treat soft tissue injuries, where there is swelling. It is used to manage pain in the short term and can also be used on a long term basis to treat pain. Cold therapy is helpful in the following ways:
    1. Reduces bleeding or further infection
    2. Prevents and alleviates swelling or inflammation
    3. Reduces muscle spasm and pain
    4. Numbs the area affected and reduces deep pain by limiting the effects of swelling
  4. Precautions when using ice and heat
    1. Over skin areas that are in poor conditions
    2. Sensitive areas
    3. Over areas with poor blood circulation
    4. Diabetes
    5. Presence of any infection. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Pain Management Specialist.
3808 people found this helpful
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