Hot N' Cold
I bet most of you have tried some version of hot or cold therapy before for bone or muscular pain. Let's start with cold.
There are many great benefits to using cold therapy:
- Decrease circulation- which controls formation of inflammation
- Decrease pain- because of decrease release of nerve conductivity, and the release of chemical mediators
- Decrease muscle spasm - by decreasing muscle spindle activity
So, when do I use cold therapy? Because of these great pain disrupting effects, we recommend using cold when you have an acute, or new injury. It is also recommended to use cold immediately after exercise for 10-20 minutes depending on temperature.
There are different forms of cold therapy. We like cold baths/tubs and ice packs the best.
Now on to hot. Here are some of the benefits of using hot/warm therapy:
- Increase circulation- which will increase oxygen delivery and can remove cellular waste
- Decrease tissue stiffness
- Decrease pain because of increase in oxygen and increase in circulation can remove pain stimulating irritants
We recommend using warm therapy prior to exercise to enhance body capabilities and performance. 10-20 minutes is also recommended.
Warm whirlpools, hot tubs, and heat packs are our favorite forms of hot and warm therapy.