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Should I use hot or cold on my sore?

A question we get asked time and time again is “Should I use hot or cold on my sore ….?” and sadly as with everything in life, there is no simple answer.

Heat therapy is used to increase blood flow to the area and can promote healing. Commonly used on muscles to ease an ache. However, with an increase in blood flow to an area, there is also an increase in inflammation, potentially detrimental to healing if there is already inflammation present.

Cold therapy or cryotherapy works by reducing blood flow to an area, therefore reducing inflammation. It can also temporarily reduce nerve activity which slows down or stops the pain signals reaching the brain.

With both cold and heat therapy, application should be done in short bursts of time, with protection for the skin (from a cloth or item of clothing) and can be repeated once the skin has returned to its usual temperature.

The bottom line is – there is no one fix for all. Some people may find ice will work better; others will find relief from warmth. Trialling both, or even a combination of the two, is the best way to see if either is suitable for your ailment. 

If you are unsure if your problem is muscular, joint or nerve related, then book in with your chiropractor and they can do tests to find out!

One thing’s for certain; always be sure to always protect your skin!

Elizabeth Garvey
    5 Wooler Park, North Way, Walworth Industrial Estate, Andover, Hampshire SP10 5AZ
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