The Ongoing Mystery: Hot or Cold Therapy?
The Ongoing Mystery: Hot or Cold Therapy?
Hot & Cold Therapy: A great way to significantly reduce all kinds of pain from arthritis to muscle tears. Most of us, at some point, will have held a bag of frozen peas on a bumped knee or ran a hot bath for an achy back… but if this is the case, how does Hot & Cold Therapy still manage to confuse everyone? Which type of therapy should you use for pain relief – Hot or Cold?
Here we will help put an end to this confusion by highlighting and explaining some of the main types of pain for which Hot or Cold Therapy can be best used.
DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or DOMS as it is also known, is one type of pain which can be reduced through Heat Therapy. Pain from DOMS can be caused by strenuous exercise which puts stress on muscles, resulting in sore muscles for the days following. Although this is often a common side effect of a good workout at the gym, for example, it can be truly painful and uncomfortable.
By applying heat to the affected area, with a therapy pack such as the ‘Neo G Hot & Cold Therapy Pack’, it warms the sore muscles and increases blood flow to the area. Using a therapy pack is a great option when having a hot bath isn’t possible! Don’t worry about having to hold the pack on the area either – our Neo G Hot & Cold Therapy pack is compatible with many of Neo G’s larger supports, for example the Neo G Thigh and Hamstring Support (displaying the ‘3D Integrated Hot & Cold’ logo to show compatibility).
To put it politely, arthritis pain is terrible. A terrible pain which around 10 millionpeople in the UK suffer from (NHS.uk) – that’s about 15% of the total UK population! For this reason, it is incredibly important to know how to minimise the symptoms. Heat therapy can help!This is because applying heat to the affected area improves blood flow and circulation, soothing the joints and relieving the pain. A Hot & Cold Therapy Pack such as the one mentioned above can be used for this purpose, however something as simple as wearing Arthritis Gloves can be very effective.
Our Neo G Comfort/Relief Arthritis Gloves, which are specially designed to combat arthritis pain in the wrists, hands and fingers using the dual layer design can protect against the negative effects of cold temperatures. It combines the ‘lifestyle’ layer which provides warmth & compression, and the ‘warming’ layer, which is also included in the pack and fits easily over the top as a second layer, maximising heat retention and ensuring painful joints are kept warm and mobile.
For many, menstrual cramps are a pain that is dreaded – every month. In fact, it is a pain that 80% of women will experience at some point during their life (Women’s Health Concern). They can leave you in abject agony, with little more than a paracetamol to turn to for help. That’s where Heat Therapy comes in! By gently heating the Heat Therapy Pack, as recommended for DOMS, and placing it on the lower stomach in 10-15 minute intervals, the pain from these debilitating cramps can be eased. Unfortunately, menstrual cramps often come with lots of other pain too… back pain is one of them. As mentioned previously however, many of our Neo G supports are compatible with the Hot & Cold Therapy Pack, including our Neo G Back Brace. Fantastic!
Heat Therapy can be used not only to react to pain symptoms, but also to prevent pain from occurring over the long term. By using Heat Therapy regularly over a long period, muscle and joint flexibility can be improved – reducing the opportunity for stiff, swollen and tight muscles and joints to cause pain. Because of this, all of our Neo G VCS supports are made from heat therapeutic neoprene, which helps to retain the heat crucial for this improved flexibility and long term pain prevention.
Swollen/Inflamed Joints & Tendons
Although swollen joints and tendons are a common symptom of arthritis and various other health conditions, they can also be caused by injury, including sprains and strains. Not only that but they can cause excruciating pain too! Unlike DOMS and pain on larger areas of the body, joints can be difficult to sooth as the continuous movement of joints make it difficult to secure a cold compress to the joint for example. However, our Neo G Hot & Cold Therapy Disc works to resolve this issue as its disc shape allows it to fit easily around joints.
Like our Neo G Hot & Cold Therapy Pack, our disc is also compatible with many of our joint supports, for example the Open Knee Support and Stabilized Ankle Support (compatible supports will also display the ‘3D Integrated Hot & Cold’ logo).
Similar to swollen joints and tendons, it is recommended that tears in muscles should also be treated with Cold Therapy. Once a tear has occurred, the application of a cold compress in the first 24-48 hours can slow the rate of inflammation, whilst numbing sore tissue and therefore reducing the pain. Heat Therapy can also be used for Muscle Tears, however it is best to be applied after the first 48 hours once the swelling has reduced, following the cold therapy application – and don’t forget many of our Neo G supports can help you hold your Cold Therapy Pack in place!
To avoid and reduce bruising – Cold Therapy is key. Immediately (or as soon as possible) after getting a bruise, applying an ice pack to the area will help to reduce swelling by constricting blood vessels, especially the broken vessels which create the visible bruising. This is one type of pain for which Heat Therapy should not be used, it will only heighten the bruising symptoms. Our Neo G Hot & Cold Therapy Pack however can be either heated orcooled depending on your type of pain, so you can adapt your therapy, whether it’s DOMS or a bruise that you need to fix.