– Pain is your body's way of alerting you to an issue, ensuring that you tend to muscles or joints that are stiff, sprained, over-used or injured. When you are experiencing pain, you can help to alleviate the symptoms by applying cold and hot packs to the affected area. Heat helps to relax muscles, increase blood flow and ease stiff joints. Cold compresses can reduce inflammation and dull pain by numbing the surrounding area. The type of temperature therapy you should use depends on the nature of the pain you are experiencing, which is why you should consult a physician before beginning any kind of treatment program.
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Medical experts suggest that hot packs and patches are ideal for addressing the symptoms associated with conditions that cause muscle or joint pain. Examples of conditions that respond well to heat therapy are muscle spasms, stiff or aching muscles, arthritis or old sprains or strains. Medical experts usually do not recommend using heat to address recent injuries, open wounds or irritated skin.
Target Heat at the Affected Area:
When you browse the pain and fever relief section of drugstore.com, you will find a number of heat wraps and packs that have been specifically designed to target certain areas of the body. Shoulder packs and heated neck pillows can be used to relieve tension by relaxing shoulder and neck muscles. Back wraps can be used to target pain in the lower back. For individuals who experience sinus pain, there are shaped packs that can be heated and used to soothe congested or irritated sinuses.
Sources of Heat:
Some of the heat packs and wraps that you will find on drugstore.com are operated by electricity. These packs and wraps need to be used in locations that are situated near a socket. Other heat packs are more versatile. Options include heat packs that can be activated by warming them in a microwave. You can then relax with the heat pack in any location that you choose.
Hot Water Bottles:
A traditional method of applying heat to areas of the body is hot water bottles. They are extremely versatile as they simply need to be filled with hot water to provide relief from aches and pains. Hot water bottles are renowned for their comforting effects. They can be highly effective in targeting pain in the abdomen caused by menstrual cramps.
When your hands become excessively cold due to exposure to low temperatures, they may tingle as the blood returns to them. In some individuals, exposure to sudden low temperatures can trigger Raynaud's phenomenon, which leads to fingers feeling numb and turning white. One way to help prevent hands becoming cold or numb is to use a hand warmer. Some hand warmers work using a rechargeable battery pack. Others need no power source as they work by activating a metal disc which crystallizes the chemical in the pack. These hand warmers can be recharged simply by soaking them in hot water until the chemical returns to liquid form.
If you have a medical condition, it is recommended that you consult your physician before applying a heat pack or wrap to your body.
This summary is intended for general informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should read product labels. In addition, if you are taking medications, herbs, or other supplements you should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before taking any over-the-counter medication as they may interact with other medications, herbs, and nutritional products. If you have a medical condition, including if you are pregnant or nursing, you should speak to your physician before taking these products. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.