Hot v Cold (or both!!)

Updated: Jan 26, 2021

Using hot or cold packs are great ways to either encourage blood flow and soothe an injured area or reduce blood flow and limit inflammation. Though, if applied incorrectly or at the wrong time you may end up making things worse.

This infographic is a basic guide with regards to using hot or cold. However, if hot and cold therapy is combined you may be able to achieve accelerated healing. Read more below!

Hot & Cold Therapy
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Alternating between the use of hot and cold backs at the right time may increase healing. Contrast therapy is not a new approach to sports medicine and has been used in a variety of cultures for many years. The basic idea is that when cold is applied to an area vasoconstriction (reduced blood flow) and reduced lymph drainage occurs. When heat is applied immediately after, the blood vessels and lymph vessels rapidly expand (vasodilation) leading to increased blood and lymph flow. This allows for stagnant fluid to be 'flushed' through the system and improve healing capacity. Winner!!

So, in a nutshell, follow this process using a cold pack, heat pack (being careful not to burn): Cold application for 5 mins, Hot application for 5 mins, Cold, Hot, Cold (always finish on cold). This process takes about 25 minutes. If your symptoms are not improving, make sure you seek advice from a healthcare professional.

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