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Heat or Cold

Should I use Heat or Cold to treat my injury?

Heat or Cold - Which one will work for your injury
  • Cold treatment will help you reduce pain and inflammation
  • Heat will relax the muscles and release strain on injured tissue.
  • Heat has minor benefits but it can feel good. BFST® is best for healing.

When Should I Use Cold?

Cold treatment works best for treating an acute injury to treat pain and inflammation. When your body experiences an acute injury, whether it be a tear, pull, strain or sprain - edema (swelling) quickly sets in.

Cold therapy will help to counter the edema by slowing circulation to the applied area. This in turn helps reduce the rate which inflammation can spread throughout the initial injury and begin to reduce the swelling after more consistent usage over a few days. Cold treatment therapy works great for treating acute injuries. As soon as you injure yourself it's important to apply cold as soon as possible to the injured area. The more cold therapy you can use on the initial injury - the faster your body can begin healing.

Cold treatment is always best used when you feel any discomfort from your injury. It's important to get the cold on the injury right away. Even after light exercise it's a good idea to apply cold. Cold treatment can be used at any time during the day. There is no limit to how many times in a day you use cold treatment, as long as you use follow the RCCE protocols. Use cold therapy until the pain and inflammation has all but gone.

King Brand Healthcare manufactures superior medical grade cold packs for treating all kinds of injuries and medical conditions.

When Should I Use Heat?

You can use heat after the pain and swelling has gone down from your injury. Heat can help to relax the muscles. Tense muscles can put strain on the injury and other tissue in the area, making things worse. Relaxing those muscles can help take the strain off your injury. In the first 72 hours, do not use heat after a serious injury, use cold packs. If you mildly re-injure the area after it has started to heal, be careful not to use heat until the new re-injury has stabilized. Wait 72 hours depending on the severity of the re-injury. As long as you have pain and swelling, do not use heat.

Use heat anytime you want to try to relax your muscles. Many people enjoy the warm feeling of a heating pad or hot pack and there's no harm in using one as long as it is not causing you pain and there is no swelling or bruising. To help the healing process, BFST® treaments are more effective than topical heating pads.

Alternating Between Heat and Cold

Alternating between Cold and heat is a mistake. Cooling has one function - to reduce pain and inflammation by causing vascular restriction to reduce blood flow. Aside from this, cold does not contribute to the healing process. Heating has one function - to relax the muscles and remove strain from injured tissue. Depending on what stage you are at in the recovery process, you want to use either heat or cold, not both. Alternating heat and cold only results in one treatment defeating the purpose of the other.

It's best to wait at least 2 hours in between using heat and cold. Use your cold treatments whenever you're experiencing any discomfort or swelling. If the swelling has not gone down, do not use heat. Always get the inflammation under control before moving over to heat.

Use the Correct Product for the Best Results

For cold treatment it's good to use a quality cold compression wrap to effectively target the pain and inflammation. The compression component multiplies the value of the cold therapy. A cold compression wrap specifically designed for the injured body part is even better as it will provide a perfect fit and concentrate the cold to the targeted area much better.

Click here for more information on ColdCure® treatments

To accelerate the healing process, stimulating blood flow can have tremendous benefits. Targetted blood flow stimulation can be promoted through the use of BFST products. If you want to heal quickly, you want to use BFST, not topical heating pads.

Click here for more information on BFST® treatments
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Heat versus Cold is a misunderstood concept. Heat OR cold should be used. Heat and cold should not be alternated. cold or heat can impact your injury in different ways. cold or heat can be used with your injury but BFST will help you heal. cold and heat affect blood flow and blood flow is important to healing. ice that is too cold or heat that is too hot can cause further damage. Don't use excessive cold or heat.