When to use Heat and Ice for Pains

Pains are very common in our life. Almost every person suffers from various types of pain in their regular life. But sometimes it remains unnoticed because of mild in nature. Actually when a pain gets a serious situation then we notice it. No need to say any type of pain is very irritating as well as hard to tolerate. It hampers your lifestyle and puts us in bed. But the main thing is that we should know how to deal with it. Different types of pain have different characteristics and so its remedial measures are different. Commonly when thinking of a relief from pain we think of heat and ice but it varies with the types of pains. So the question arises, will heat and ice make us feel better? Read this article to get some detailed idea about pains and how to get relief from it.
Arthritis: Arthritis is a long term disease and it can’t be cured be cured in a day or two. It needs a lot of patience and good treatment. So when suffering from pain caused by arthritis which stays normally for six weeks or longer heat is the best way to get relief from it. It is seen that the patient feels better with heat than ice so ice should be avoided.
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Sports Injuries: Sports injuries are very typical in nature. It needs proper diagnosis and treatment. But instant relief should be obtained by ice or heat. Actually ice is cold and uncomfortable and heat is warm and comfortable. But in case of sports injuries, ice is used because of inflammation and swelling and heat is avoided because it perpetuates the cycle of inflammation and can be very harmful. Again, mist heat can be used to loosen the injured muscle and and icing afterwards can minimize the pain.
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Headaches: In case of headaches, ice is preferred the most because heat can increase the pain. The patients suffering from migraine can use ice in forehead, eyes to get a sigh of relief. But headaches are caused by many reasons so at first you should know about the reason for which your headache is occurring. As if the headache is caused by cold you can’t use ice in that case.
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Tendinitis: Tendinitis causes very irritating pain when the activity in tendons increases. Mainly the pain is spotted in shoulder, elbow, wrist etc. In such case ice should be preferred as it numbs pain and gives some instant relief.
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Tendinosis: This is also an orthopedic disease which causes chronic irritation and stiffness in tendons attached to joints. You can use heat as the better option than ice as heat relieves stiffness.
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So from all the examples we came to a single conclusion that if the pains are less than six weeks and acute in nature we should use ice and if the pain is six weeks or longer than we should use heat in such case. But the main reason behind this is ice constricts blood vessels and relieves inflammation which numbs pain and heat increases blood flow, which relaxes tight muscles and relieves aching joints.

Ways to apply ice and heat:

Ice Packs: For preparing ice packs you can use frozen corn, peas, ice cubes in a bag or a frozen gel pack. Continue using ice packs for 48 hours until the swelling, inflammation and tenderness are gone.
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Moist Heat: You can take bath, shower, and hot tub using warm water but remember not to use very hot water.
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Heating Wraps: Go to a medicine store and ask for a heat wrap. Now wrap it around your neck to get relief.
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Ice Massage: Take a Dixie cup and fill it with water. Freeze it into ice. Now massage the injured area with the cylindrical ice slowly until it’s numb.
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Cold Masks: You will get cold masks available at drug stores. Place it over your eyes and lay a towel soaked in cold water over your forehead.
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There are also various types of pain rehabilitation procedures but for that you will have to consult with a physiotherapist or an orthopedic doctor. But the main fact is that you will have to diagnose the pain first. If you can diagnose correctly the above processes will give you relief. And if the pain continues for a long time then you should obviously go for a medical consultation.