The most commonly used therapies for pain removal and inflammation have been heating or cold therapies. We indeed have grown up realising their role when we get hurt for feel inflammation. But for most of us, it becomes very confusing as to which of these therapies works better and where. That is why we are here to tell you the difference between Heat therapy and cold therapy and make you understand which one of these is actually much better. So, take a look at this article and clear your confusion right away.

Heat Therapy

heat therapy

Heat therapy basically refers to the practice of healing an injury, soothing muscle stiffness, or relieving pain caused by tissue damage or reasons as mentioned earlier, by the application of heat to the affected area. Heat transfer to the affected areas of the body can be done using heat packs or products similar to it. Increasing the temperature of the affected area will help increase muscle flexibility and also soothe pain or discomfort caused by any kind of injury or muscle stiffness. Heat therapy works by increasing blood flow to the particular area of the body where heat is applied. This increased blood flow will help the body recover damaged tissue very fast and relieve muscle pain.

Types Of Heat Therapy

heat therapy

There are two types of heat therapies mainly, number one is dry heat or conducted heat therapy in which heat sources such as dry heating packs, pads, or saunas are used involving no liquid in any form, and the other one is moist heat or convection hear therapy in which sources like hot steamed towels, hot water bath or moist heating packs are used. The latter is said to be more effective according to research as it provides the exact same results as dry heat but in much less time. 

Cold Therapy

heat therapy

On the other hand, Cold therapy works by decreasing the blood flow to a particular area of application. Cold therapy is helpful in reducing inflammation and swelling after an injury. The decrease in temperature also tends to temporarily stop nerve activity of that area, which in turn relieves pain. It is also known as cryotherapy for the same reason. A few treatment options or sources for cold therapy include ice packs, ice baths, coolant sprays, etc. The decreased blood flow to the particular area of the body where the injury takes place can get off the swelling real quick by contracting muscles surrounding it. Cold therapy is usually not applied over stiff muscles or else they'll get worse. 

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Heat Therapy Or Cold Therapy

heat therapy

Both treatments are equally effective, but knowing when to use cold therapy or when to use heat therapy after carefully examining the situation will significantly increase the effectiveness of the treatment. For example, Heat therapy cannot be used in situations when an area is bruised or open wounded, or swollen after an injury, in such a case it' better to use Cold therapy. Whereas Cold therapy must not be used on stiff muscles or joints, otherwise it will worsen the situation and cause more pain. In that case, heat therapy must be used to make the muscles more flexible and relieve pain. Some conditions may require both treatments, like arthritis, heat is required for joint stiffness and after that cold is applied for swelling and acute pain.

So as a conclusion, both treatments are equally important. You should just know when to use either of the two.

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