HOT OR COLD?! WHICH IS BEST?
No matter your age, the chaos’ of life can affect your body tremendously. In New Orleans, the good times never stop, so neither can you!
Treating injuries or muscle pain with hot and cold therapies is a simple way to get you back on your feet without breaking the bank.
How do you know which treatment is best for you? As a general rule of thumb, cold packs should be used for acute injuries, inflammation, and swelling. Heat can be applied to muscle pain or stiffness.
Waking up with stiff or sore muscles can put a literal pain in your day. Heat therapy is an affordable way to soothe sore muscles, heal damaged tissue, and get you back into the grind of life. The heat from a steamed towel, heating pad, or a hot bath can increase circulation, decrease discomfort in localized areas, and increase muscle flexibility. Treat yourself to a warm bath after a hard workout. Applying heat to the entire body or localized area for 15-20 minutes can get you feeling brand new. If pain is more moderate to severe, try a longer session of about 30 minutes.
Unlike heat therapy, cold therapy reduces circulation to a particular area of the body to decrease swelling and inflammation. By temporally reducing nerve activity, pain in joints or tendons can be relieved through cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy. Cryotherapy should not be used on stiff muscles or joints, or if you have a sensory disorder. Ice packs can be applied to areas for 10-15 minute intervals. Avoid using cryotherapy on a localized area for more than 20 minutes. Frozen items should ALWAYS be wrapped in a towel before applying it to the skin. Applying frozen items directly to the skin can cause damage to skin and tissues. Ain’t nobody got time for dat!
So, before you second line through your day with a stiff back or an aching joint, try treating yourself to an at home hot or cold therapy!