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    A Detailed Insight into the Differences between Heat Therapy and Cold Therapy

    A Detailed Insight into the Differences between Heat Therapy and Cold Therapy

    Introduction

    Temperature-based therapy is hugely popular medium of therapy used for treating a wide range of bodily issues ranging from arthritis to inflammation and sprained/ strained muscles. Temperature based therapy is of two types: Heat therapy and Cold therapy. It is very easy to apply a heat pack or a disposable instant cold pack, but the real confusion lies in the fact that many of us have no idea when to use the heat pack and when to use the cold packs. Some treatments even call for both cold and heat packs, so knowing when to use which is important to make full use of this form of therapy and treatment.

    Cold Therapy

    In order to know which form of therapy to opt for, we have to know how each one works, starting with cold therapy. Also called cryotherapy, it contracts the blood vessels and thickens the blood in our body. This means the flow of blood to the applied area is reduced.  As inflammations and swellings are caused by accumulated blood internally, applying cold gel packs help reduce these swellings and get it back to normal fast. Cold therapy also makes the skin numb by reducing nerve activity, helping in dealing with excess pain.

    There are many types of cold therapy, divided mostly into personal and professional cold therapy. Unlike heat therapy, cold therapy can be easily done at home or outside without professional help, thanks to readily available instant ice packs. These ice packs are disposable and single use, but can be quickly used in case of injury unlike refrigerated ice packs that need to be prepared in advance.

    There are many ways to perform cryotherapy, such as ice packs, instant gel packs, ice massage, ice baths and coolant sprays. Different types of injuries call for different types of treatment. Frozen gel packs and ice packs come in many customized versions that can be applied to individual areas on the body, whereas ice massage, ice baths and cold therapy chambers are used for whole body cold treatment.

    reusable hot/cold gel packs

    Just as with other forms of personal therapy treatments, proper care and precautions need to be taken before attempting to use any form of cold therapy. People with certain sensory disorders, especially those who cannot properly feel the cold sensation, should avoid doing it on their own because they might not realize if the cold is excess or not. Cold can damage the skin if used for extended period of time, hence there should be a gap between successive applications. If using ice, bare ice should not be brought in contact with the skin, and should be wrapped in something like a protective covering or towel. Some reusable hot/cold gel packs come with protective covers and wraps that regulate temperature and protect your skin from damage (Hyperlink our Multipurpose therapy gel with cover). Not more than 20 minutes of application is recommended to prevent permanent nerve and tissue damage. Remove it as soon as the swelling is gone.

    Heat Therapy

    When we use a heated pack, blood vessels inside our body expand and make the blood slightly thinner. This improves the blood circulation, which in turn increases the flow of blood to a particular area, usually the injured area. Heat therapy is further divided into two types: Dry heat therapy and Wet heat therapy.

    Dry heat therapy makes use of heating pads, dry heated gel packs(Hyperlink), and saunas. They work by applying heat directly to the affected area from the source of heat. Heat therapy involves hot baths, steamed towels and steamed heat packs. In this case, heat is conducted to the affected area from the source using moisture and air.

    heated body wraps

    Heat therapy is beneficial for cold muscles or damaged or torn internal tissues, as they can help heal those faster than conventional healing methods. Heat therapy is often used by professional therapists, and it is important to follow the protocol in order to prevent serious burns or injuries when using it at home. One can buy heating pads or heated body wraps that treat a specific area, or opt for full body treatment using saunas and hot baths. Heated gel packs can also be purchased with fitted covers that protect your skin from damage.

    Heat treatment can be used for extended duration of time, provided that the heat is not too much and only moderate. Proper precautions should be followed to be on the safe side and prevent possible issues. Heat treatment should be strictly avoided in case of swellings, open wounds or cuts in the skin. Plus, people with diabetes, dermatitis, vascular diseases, and thrombosis should consult a doctor before opting for any sort of heat treatment.

    Conclusion

    Both cold and heat therapy have different specific uses, and the deciding factor should be whether we want the blood flow to speed up or slow down. Inflammations require blood flow to slow down, whereas muscle sprains require increased blood flow to repair themselves. If you think you are in need of both heat therapy and cold therapy at times, there are always options for reusable gel packs that can be frozen or microwaved for your specific treatment needs. Unless it is an emergency, consultation with a healthcare professional should be done before attempting any form of heat or cold treatment for the first time.

    Selecting an Aid for Your Sports Injury

    Selecting an Aid for Your Sports Injury

    Athletes understand that sports injury is quite common when they are filled with adrenaline and might end up torquing, twisting, straining, or pulling a muscle than can result in an issue. Depending upon the severity of the incident, you have to ensure that you can give immediate attention and proper remedial measures. If left unattended for long, these injuries can cause severe and permanent damage to your system. You should get appropriate advice from a professional in this regard. Depending upon the area where the athlete’s hurt, the sports injury wrap should be chosen.

    Sprained Ankles

    Sports Ankle Injury Wraps

    Even if you are not into heavy-duty sports, a sprained ankle is a common issue in almost all age groups. Be it wearing heels and strutting down the road or while actively participating in a sport, sprained ankles are common injury issues, and one needs to take care of the level of injury lest it becomes a one month of bed rest.

    If the doctor or physiotherapist suggests that the damage belongs to grade 1, then they can be treated with a simple sports wrap for the ankle. The compression bandage binds the ligament in the place and keeps you from applying unnecessary pressure on the foot. Some wraps can even incorporate hot & cold therapy, which can speed up your recovery process.

    For severe injuries like the ones landing in grade 2 or 3, you may need the next level of attention. First, get it checked with a qualified doctor and then do as they say. Some may even require you to go on complete bed rest for a long span.

    Knee Sprains

    Sports Knee Injury Wraps

    This is another category of injury that falls in the standard type for the sports people. Depending upon the sports activity that you indulge in, you can sprain your ACL or MCL area in the knee. The compression bandage that is specially designed to comfort the knee area is quite helpful in the process of recovery.

    However, instead of going at it on your own, it is highly recommended that you take the advice of a physiotherapist and understand the proper way of applying the sports wrap to the affected area. Most of the companies that have a fair idea of the making and manufacturing the sports injury wrap specialize in the making of knee wraps for emergency use.

    Hamstring Injury

    Sports Hamstring Injury Wrap

    While running around the court, you may pull your hamstring muscles. It is quite common for basketball players. The hamstring is the muscle in your calves. A muscle strains your hamstring area can hamper the game and restrict you from walking around the court. The sports instructor suggests that you should use an elastic bandage around the area to ensure that you get ample support.

    If your injury is minor, wrapping it can get you back in the game, but if it is more severe, then the better option is icing it, wrapping it, and rooting on your teammates from the sideline. Sports wrap are majorly used for this purpose.

    Most of the players keep the wrap handy after anticipating such injuries might occur during the game. Some wraps can even be use for later heat therapy on the injury as well.

    Arm Injury

    Sports Arm Injury Wraps

    The wrist and elbow area of your arm are quite susceptible to injuries during the game. You may end up hurting your shoulder as well. This kind of damage can cause issues for a longer span than usual if they are not taken care of at an early stage. Tennis games, badminton, or falling on your hand can be some of the common causes that result in an arm injury.

    Look for options that are specially designed for the area that has been affected. You should also go for bandages or wraps that are made up of waterproof material and help in keeping the cold or hot compress inside the wrap. It helps in faster healing of the affected area.

    Neoprene is one of the best materials that is used for this purpose. The shoulder wraps come with neck sling that can be used for providing support to the arm with the help of the correct posture of your neck.

    While buying these sports wrap, you must keep a few details in your mind

    • Ensure that the company is well known and has proven results that have helped other players in faster recovery. You can also ask your fellow teammates or your physiotherapist for a recommendation on the wraps.

    • Go for material and design that is in synchronization with the type of sport that you regularly indulge in. For example, a hamstring wrap will only come to your rescue if you have a lot of footwork to do while performing in your team. Wrist wraps are handy for tennis, badminton, and table tennis players. There are wraps for almost any pain point area.

    • Keeping the hygiene issue in mind, it is best if you invest in your own sports wrap instead of using the one that all the players use in case of an emergency. Even if you have to go for a wrap during the crisis, take out time to buy your own once the game is over.

    Treat Your Dog with a Comfortable Heating Pet Bed This Winter

    Heating Pet Bed for winter season

    Many of us who have pet dogs often forgo one of the most basic needs for our pooch during the cold, shivering winters: a warm, comfortable, dog bed. We are not talking about these fluffy dog beds and designer beds that are available in the market. We are talking about a simple but highly practical bed that will solve the annual issue of our beloved dogs getting cold in the frosty winter: A heating pad for your dog bed or a heated pet bed.

    While other regular, non-regulated beds may appear to be cozy enough for your dog, the latter may not be able to effectively communicate with you to convey the fact that they are feeling cold and would love to have a warmer bed. As a dog owner, it is our moral responsibility to take care of our dogs and make sure they feel warm and cozy during the cold winters. For starters, we can swap their regular beds with a heated pet bed for dogs, which has an inbuilt mechanism that creates warmth for your dog to feel comfortable. Or we can opt for a heating pad for the dog bed, which we can slide beneath the bed to make it warm.

    Now how exactly this dog bed heating pad works, you may ask?

    You may have heard of instant gel packs, which are effectively used as a substitute for ice packs to treat swellings and muscle sprains. These are readily available online for purchase, and can be made ready to use fairly quickly. You simply have to put the gel pack in the refrigerator, and use it when it gets cold. Once it loses its warmth, you can refrigerate it again, and reuse it.

    pet therapy gel pack

    Heated pet beds use the same concept: there’s a set of pet therapy gel packs, which can be heated in a microwave to achieve the desired temperature. Once heated, you can slide the gel pack beneath the bed to make it warm. Because the gel pack is reusable and has the ability to be used as ice packs, you can use the same even in hot summers to make your dog’s bed cold enough to beat the heat.

    The removable gel pack makes it easy to wash the dog bed, and you can even keep spare gel packs so that if a gel pack loses its warmth, you can use another one while the former is sent back to the microwave to reheat it.

    Benefits of heating pads for pet beds

    But the benefits of heating pad for dog beds are not limited to just making your beloved pooch all warm and cozy during the winters. They can also serve as therapeutic beds for old dogs and dogs recovering from injuries or surgeries. Dogs have a much shorter life span when compared to humans, and once they age, they need special care. Their weakened bones will make it difficult to be hyperactive as they were when in their prime, so all they need is a good, warm and comfortable bed to rest their tired joints. A dog bed with a heating pad can make a lot of difference to them, and they’d be thankful for the same. Heating pads have proven therapeutic benefits for the old and ageing, and the same goes for old dogs.

    Caldera Pet Bed & Insert video from Caldera International, Inc. on Vimeo.

    You can either get a simple heated dog bed with heating pad, or just get a heating pad to be used in your existing dog bed. Because old dogs may need specialized beds such as memory foam beds or orthopedic beds, these beds often come equipped with a chamber to slide in a heating pad to make the bed warm.

    No matter what the situation is, heated dog bed will always come in handy for your dog’s comfort needs, and their reversal reusability as cold beds during hot summers means you get two different benefits in just one product, and three if we count the therapeutic benefits for ageing dogs. If you haven’t got a heated dog bed yet, get one for your dog today!

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