A heated blanket or cold pack can’t fix a torn tendon or heal a sprained ankle. But warming up or chilling an area affected by pain can assist in healing a small injury or reducing the pain.
There is a psychological link that is associated with the temperature helping with the pain. But there are physiological factors that are the ones that do the actual healing. When the pain is reduced, you’ll be able to move more, which means the blood flow through the affected area will increase. If you have no idea when to use either the cold pack or a heated blanket, which can be tricky, here are some ways you can find out.
When Do You Use The Cold?
Cold temperatures will cause your blood vessels to constrict, which decreases the flow of blood. The area’s natural chemical reactions will slow down significantly, like the reactions responsible for inflammation and swelling. To apply cold to an area correctly, you need crushed ice in a bag, frozen vegetables in a pack, or a gel pack. Then place it on the afflicted area for about 20 minutes every single hour for the entire day. To prevent yourself from getting frostbite, place a dishcloth or moist towel between your skin and the cold object.
How Do You Properly Use A Cold Pack?
You have to apply the cold within the first two days. It doesn’t matter if it’s a pulled muscle or sprained ankle, you’ll be getting the most benefits within two days of the injury. If you let the inflammation stay for over two days, then you will experience more pain and swelling, as well as the loss of mobility and strength. When you finish a workout, and you think you worked out too much, you can prevent your body from going sore by applying ice. If you have an injury that feels warm, then it is infected or inflamed. Don’t use heat, or it will make your condition worse. You should never go to sleep with an ice pack.
When Do You Use Heat?
Heat works in the opposite way from the cold. It will cause your blood vessels to expand, which increases the flow of blood. The increased blood flow will help nutrients get delivered to the cramping muscles to help them relax. You can use a heat pack that you warmed up in some water, a heated blanket, or a heat pack that you microwave. To prevent your skin from getting burned, place a cloth or towel between the heat and your skin. Don’t leave it on for more than twenty minutes, and make sure you cool down your skin entirely before reapplying the heat. You should never go to sleep with a heating pad on any area of your body.
How Do You Properly Use The Heat?
You should apply the heat within the first two days. You can skip using a heating pad and warm yourself up by moving your body gently, like walking for a few minutes. The parts of your muscles that need the heat won’t be able to get enough heat from the hot pack. If you have chronic soreness, then a warm bath or shower can help release the tension in your muscles from its continuous contractions.