If you read my last blog post on why you can heal pain with heat, you’re probably now confused and wondering why “cold” is used for the same thing?
Well I looked it up and discovered this.
Depending on the type of pain and/or injury, you can use cold or heat to heal or reduce pain.
Heat, as we discovered, is used to:
- Apply heat to the surface of the pain thus increasing tissue elasticity and reducing your resting muscle tension, helping to relax those nasty painful knots. Useful for stress related pain.
- Soothe and essentially anaesthetise irritated nerve-endings. Useful for toothache.
- Increase blood flow to the painful area and bring more nutrients to the injured area.
- Stimulate your natural metabolic rate so there is more energy available to quickly fix any injury.
To heal pain via heat is different to healing pain via cold (eg a cold compress).
- are mostly used to reduce swelling
- numb a painful area
- reduce bleeding
When to use heat or cold to heal pain
Ultimately it depends on the type of injury sustained and/or source of pain.
- Inflammation (athritis etc)
- Tight muscles
- Period pains
Cautions when using heat or cold to heal pain
- Do not apply the cold or heat compress to the affected area for prolonged periods.
- Keep a cloth between an ice pack and the skin
- Do not use a compress if feeling drowsy
So there you have it – you can use heat or cold to heal pain (or at least reduce it) so you can get back to normality. The type of injury and/or source of pain will dictate which to use and 99% of the time your intuition will tell you too.