– Soreness due to exertion or pain from a minor injury can make it hard to complete your daily routine. Fortunately, you can typically manage this type of discomfort at home with the right techniques. Doctors will often recommend hot and cold therapy for injuries and soreness, making it important that you have first aid supplies on hand that you can use as needed. At drugstore.com, we have a wide selection of cold and hot packs to help you find relief. read more about cold and hot packs »
Hot and Cold Therapy for First Aid
Hot and cold therapies involve exposing the skin to hot or cold temperatures for a set period of time in order to help alleviate the symptoms of an injury. When you apply heat to a sore or painful spot, it opens up blood vessels, which increases blood flow to the area and can ease stiffness and tightness.
Cold therapy has the opposite effect. The cold temperatures cause blood vessels to narrow, temporarily reducing blood flow to ease swelling. Doctors may recommend cold therapy to help stop minor bleeding. Another benefit of cold therapy is that the cold temperatures have a numbing effect on the skin, which can help provide pain relief. Before using hot or cold therapy to address any type of pain, it's important to consult your doctor for instructions.
Reusable Products for Therapy
Some hot and cold therapy products are reusable solutions that you can have on hand whenever you need them. Examples include hot packs, ice packs, heating pads and hot water bottles. One thing that all reusable solutions have in common is that you must prepare them for use either by placing them in the freezer, heating them in the microwave, plugging them into the wall or filling them with hot or cold liquid. These types of products must be held in place in order to deliver benefits.
Single-Use Cold and Hot Solutions
Single-use cold and heat therapy products are used only one time but typically don't need to be held in place. This makes them convenient solutions for getting the benefits of hot and cold therapy on the go. Examples of single-use products include self-adhesive hot and cold patches, which come in different shapes and sizes for use on various parts of the body. You can also find hot and cold sprays, creams, ointments and sticks that are applied directly to the skin.
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