What is Hot/Cold Therapy?
Herrington Family Chiropractic offers modalities that can heat, or cool the body. There are very specific times when either is necessary, and as a trained professional, Dr. Herrington keeps up on current research to know when each modality can be best applied.
Did you know RICE (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate) is outdated and potentially dangerous? Even the author of the protocol states it’s over used and isn’t as effective as once thought?
Old knowledge isn’t always the best knowledge.
The style of hot/cold therapies we offer are soft fabric cold packs and clay moist heat packs.
The Benefits of Heat Therapy
Heat is one of the best “go to-s” for soft tissue injuries, but must be used carefully. Whenever the body is injured, the second step it naturally uses to heal the injury, is to warm up the injured area. (The first step is to create pain.)
Heat will not only make the tissue more pliable, but it also increases blood flow to the area. This is great for healing, but not great for areas that are already inflamed. If it’s swollen and hot, there’s no reason to add more heat beyond what the body already has. Adding more may potentially damage the tissue, which isn’t beneficial. (see contraindications below)
The Benefits of Cold Therapy
Cold Therapy is best applied to areas that are immediately acute. This means immediately after an injury, you want to apply ice to prevent as much swelling as reduce pain. This is ONLY applied immediately following the injury. Once the pain is manageable, then you’re not longer using cold. This, of course, varies per injury and area. Cold Therapy should NOT be used long term as a therapy for much of anything.
Who can Benefit from Hot/Cold Therapy
The use of heat or cold is not effective in all conditions and is not appropriate for all patients. There are both indications and contraindications for the use of these treatments. As a trained professional Dr. Herrington will determine if your condition is appropriate to receive hot or cold treatment.
Contraindications for Hot/Cold Therapy
Heat therapy should not be used over active inflammatory areas, infections, tumors, pregnancies, etc. While the body producing heat in an area is good, overly inflaming can cause the tissues to actually deteriorate. In terms of muscles, tendons, ligaments, this may cause the tissues to become damaged or frail. In terms of tumors or infections, applying heat may cause them to increase in activity and therefore increase the damage caused by them.
Cold therapy shouldn’t be utilized in areas that are not actively inflamed. The purpose of this treatment is to slow swelling and reduce pain. If there is pain, but no swelling/heat (as is common in chronic pain cases) cold therapy can potentially make the tissue more rigid, and create more pain, or cause more damage to surrounding tissue.
In obvious cases, over exposure to either can cause serious tissue damage and each treatment should be utilized under advisement or with supervision.
Are you experiencing joint, neck, or back pain? Work with a Buffalo Chiropractor that can help you.
Here at Herrington Family Chiropractic, not only does Dr. Herrington excels at spinal manipulation, but is also highly proficient at soft tissue manipulation. Utilizing techniques such as Myofascial Release Technique (MRT), Graston, Soft Tissue Massage, Ultrasound therapy and Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) to ensure patients can be effectively treated for all their aches and pains.
If you have been living with joint, neck, or back pain, please contact us to schedule your consult.