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Cold or hot? When to apply each to relieve pain

Cold or hot? When to apply each to relieve pain

When we have pain somewhere in our body, whether caused by a blow or a contracture, we always have the question about whether it is better to alleviate discomfort by applying cold or if, on the contrary, the best option is hot.

Well, like everything in this life, it depends on the situation. In summary, it can be said that if it is hits we must put cold over the area, whereas if the pain comes from a contracture without previous blowswe will have to apply hot.

In this article we will talk about which is the best option in each case, explaining the effects it has each remedy about our body and giving some advice on the best way to apply each temperature.

When is cold the best remedy for pain?

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As I was saying, when we have given ourselves knock we must apply cold during the first 48-72 hours after the injury.

This will serve to decrease inflammation and relieve pain; but, in addition, it will also contribute to the reduction of the damages produced in the secondary tissue, favoring a better recovery.

For them, it is used ice, cold gel bags or even pea bags frozen. These should be applied to the painful area during periods of not much more than twenty minutes, since otherwise there could be a vasodilation, which will result in increased inflammation. In addition, they could also cause BurnsTherefore, care should be taken that the ice does not directly touch the skin, introducing a cloth Between both.

Cold is also beneficial after sprains and sports injuries, whose recovery can often be aided by ice massage.

When should we use heat?

While the cold caused the constriction of blood vessels, the heat gives rise to the opposite effect, favoring its dilation and therefore a increased blood flow what to do with a increased oxygen distributionand nutrients and a decrease in pressure originated on joints.

This, therefore, alleviate the Muscle pain caused by contractures in which there have been no previous blow. In addition, it will also be very useful in treating pain from some chronic disorders, such as arthritis.

In this case the heat will be applied through bags hot water or gel or electric blankets and, just as it happened with the cold, it will be very important not to exceed 20 minutes of exposure and be careful with the Burns.

As you can see, both cold and heat are great allies, but their effects are completely opposite, so we must be very careful when choosing in which cases we will use each one.

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