Many of the patients who visit our chiropractor in Stoke on Trent are suffering from pain, usually relating to an injury or a chronic condition like arthritis. Our team helps these patients using a holistic approach that includes chiropractic treatments, soft tissue therapy, physical therapy and lifestyle alterations.
We often recommend that patients coming into our chiropractic clinic in Stoke on Trent also use proven home remedies like hot and cold therapy. Hot and cold therapy can be used to reduce pain associated with a variety of conditions including arthritis, pulled muscles and inflammation.
Here our Stoke chiro provides more information about hot and cold therapy.
What Is Heat Therapy And How Does It Work?
Heat therapy involves placing a warm object on the body in an effort to increase blood flow. The additional heat and increased blood flow can promote healing, increase muscle flexibility and soothe sore muscles. There are two types of heat therapy:
- Dry heat (conductive heat therapy)
Sources of dry heat include heated gel packs, hot water bottles, saunas and electric heating pads. These treatments will draw moisture out of the body as you sweat, which can leave the skin dehydrated. However, they are considered the easiest-to-use form of heat therapy by most people.
- Moist heat (convective heat therapy)
This type of heat therapy uses water to improve the effectiveness of the treatment. Common sources of moist heat include moist heating packs, hot baths, steam baths and steamed towels. Adding moisture can improve how quickly heat travels into the muscles. Some people also find that moist heat provides better pain relief.
Heat therapy is particularly useful for treating:
- Stiff joints
- Muscle pain or soreness
- Recurring injuries
- Arthritic pain
Heat should be applied for between 15 to 20 minutes as needed. However, if you are experiencing high levels of pain, heat therapy can be used for up to 2 hours. Just be aware that dehydration can occur when using heat therapy for long periods
Heat therapy can be placed on a particular part of the body or used on the entire body. If you have a strained muscle, a local application is usually best. Simply place the source of heat directly on the affected muscle using a hot water bottle or heating pad.
If an entire limb is in pain, a regional application is best, using a large heating wrap or steamed towel. If you have multiple sources of pain, a whole body treatment like a sauna or hot bath would be ideal.
It’s important to note that heat therapy may not be suitable for people with:
- Lower back bruising or swelling
- Heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, or hypertension
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Open wounds
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
It’s always a good idea to consult with a doctor, chiropractor or other health care professional before undertaking any new treatment.
What Is Cold Therapy And How Does It Work?
Cold therapy uses cold objects to reduce blood flow to sections of the body. Reducing blood flow in this way also reduces inflammation and swelling — which can cause pain. It can also reduce nerve activity, further reducing your pain levels.
The most common ways to apply cold therapy include:
- Ice packs and gel packs
- Ice baths
- While body cold therapy chambers
- Ice massages
- Cooling sprays
Cold therapy is particularly useful for treating injuries as it reduces inflammation quickly and helps the healing process begin. However, cold therapy can be useful whenever you are suffering from a condition that causes inflammation. It is often used to treat:
- Lower back pain
- Arthritis pain
- Runner’s knee
- Pain and swelling after surgery
If using ice to treat an injury, limit sessions to 20 minutes in duration. Be aware that excessive icing can irritate or damage the skin. Never apply ice directly to the skin (always use a protective layer like cloth or plastic).
If you are suffering pain or discomfort our chiropractic team are here to help you at City Chiropractic. You can call our clinic on 01782 848 184 to book an appointment or you can book online on our website here.
Take your first step towards better health and call us on 01782 848 184 today
From the team at City Chiropractic Clinic
Our Chiropractors in Stoke on Trent are here to help you