Do You Know When To Use Heat Instead Of Cold? It Can Make All The Difference!


We all experience aches and pains. Maybe you’ve been pushing yourself too hard and your muscles feel like achy sandbags. Maybe you’ve banged a knee or an elbow into something and are still feeling it smart. Or maybe you made one wrong move and twisted something, so that putting pressure on it is just the worst.

You have several options to tackle these pains. Elevation and aspirin are great, but you can also calm swelling by changing up the temperature.

The question is, do you go hot or cold?

Both have their benefits, but it’s important to know when to use which option, because heat and cold have different effects on your body. Using them at the right times can make all the difference when recovering.

Heat is great for increasing circulation and relaxing muscle tissue (whether it’s on the outside or the inside), but cold is great for stopping swelling and reducing pain. So, how do you know when to use which one?

Luckily for you, we’re here to tell you!

This handy guide will let you know when to break out the ice pack and when to use the heating pad. It’ll also show you when it’s a good idea to combine both for all your bumps, bruises, twists, and sprains to help you feel better and get back on your feet in no time.

Thumbnail Photos: Flickr, 2, 3

What Does A Temperature Change Do For Your Body? 1/11

Your body reacts differently under different temperatures.

Generally speaking, ice and cold temperatures should be used on injuries less than six weeks old, because coldness constricts blood vessels ad reduces pain. It also reduces swelling and inflammation and stops the spread of bruising.

Conversely, heat increases blood flow, which helps tight, tense muscles relax, and it soothes aches from joints. Heat should be used on injuries that are more than six weeks old.

Morgan Swofford for LittleThings
Share on Facebook