– Injuries and accidents can result in pain and discomfort both in the days immediately following the damage and in the future. Often times, pain is accompanied by inflammation and swelling that can make it difficult to move and function properly. While pain and fever relief medications can help to reduce some discomfort associated with injuries like sprains and strains, sometimes additional measures must be taken to alleviate symptoms and help you feel your best. In these instances, doctors often recommend hot compresses, and you'll find many solutions to help you apply heat to injured areas here at drugstore.com. read more about hot packs and patches »
Hot packs, hot patches, heating pads and hot water bottles provide relief due to their effects upon the body's circulation. When a hot compress is applied to a wound, it causes the blood vessels in the area to widen. As these blood vessels become larger in diameter, more blood is able to reach the affected area. The blood that enters the skin tissue works to alleviate stiffness in the sight of an injured area, helping to increase range of motion following an injury. In addition, the heat can help to relieve some inflammation to reduce pain.
While there are many ways to apply heat to an injured site, hot packs and patches are preferred by many individuals. This is because they do not require the use of water like a hot towel or a hot water bottle, and they do not need to be plugged into the wall like a heating pad. Hot packs provide higher levels of heat and are ideal for short applications, typically around 15 to 30 minutes in length. Hot patches are used for low temperature therapy or exposing the injured site to heat constantly for an extended period of time.
Hot packs and compresses can be highly beneficial for injuries that involve stiffness, but they are not ideal for all types of discomfort. In some cases, the actions of cold packs and patches are best for dealing with an injury. These first aid products reduce blood flow to an injured area by causing the blood vessels to constrict or narrow. As a result, cold therapy is often recommended for dealing with swelling.
To help ensure that you always have the right supplies needed to handle an injury, keep both cold and hot packs or patches on hand. drugstore.com makes it easy to stock up on the packs and patches that you need with our wide selection of products from top brands, all of which are priced competitively. Before using heat or cold to address an injury, be sure to consult your doctor. He or she can let you know whether heat or cold therapy will be better suited to your needs and can advise you as to how long you should apply a hot or cold compress to the injured site.
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.