At Healthy Life Chiropractic, our goal is to do more than treat your neck and back pain. We want to help you reach optimal health, and while we can provide you with treatment and guidance, knowing how to take care of yourself is a large part of reaching your health goals. Part of that self-care includes at-home treatments, like hot and cold therapy. Whether you are hurting after an intense workout or are suffering from an overuse injury, we have the answers to your hot and cold therapy questions.
Ice Pack Benefits
Cold therapy from ice packs can reduce inflammation and restrict blood flow. Injuries such as bruises, sprains, swelling, or strains benefit from the use of cold therapy. You can apply the ice pack immediately after the injury happens, or as part of rehabilitation therapy. Be sure to time how long you are using an ice pack, as prolonged use can cause tissue or nerve damage. We can help you determine the best way to incorporate ice packs into your treatment plan.
Heating Pad Benefits
Heating pads are a great tool for increasing blood flow. They help with both relaxation and reducing pain, and can be useful for general aches and pains. Heat therapy can also help with the healing of damaged tissue because it improves circulation. When using heating pads, avoid areas that are swollen, bruised, or on open wounds.
So, What Should You Use?
Ice packs generally work better for acute pain, and heating pads are ideal for chronic pain. However, the pain you are experiencing may be a unique case that requires a different approach. We will be happy to help you determine the right option for you!
Are There Risks Involved?
Both heating pads and ice packs come with their own risks. Neither one should be used if an infection or bleeding is present. Both can also be dangerous for those that have diabetes or other chronic health issues. If you have poor circulation or cardiovascular disease, avoid ice packs and heating pads. Lastly, be sure that you don’t fall asleep with either one on your body!
Is This A Long Term Solution?
As we mentioned, self-care is an important part of your treatment, and that includes heat and cold therapy. While they can offer temporary relief, they aren’t long-term solutions. Regular chiropractic adjustments along with our professional advice will help you find the relief you are looking for.