Choosing between moist heat or a cold pack- Heat or Ice is important depending on the type of injury you have. Ross Rehabilitation Services gives you specific choices for hot packs and cold packs.
Cold Therapy- Also known as Cryotherapy- Ice should be applied for the first 3 days following any type of acute injury such as a knee sprain, post surgery, or any type of swelling. Ice works to reduce inflammation around the area of injury. An ice pack can also work to numb the area of pain, creating an analgesic effect.
Heat Therapy- Also known as moist heat- Heat should be used for chronic conditions such as muscle discomfort, stiffness. Applying heat to an area effectively opens up the blood vessels allowing blood to flow freely to the affected area. This increases circulation, delivering an increased supply of oxygen and nutrients and removing waste from sore, fatigued and injured muscles. Using a Hot Pack can be especially useful on a muscle spasm.