The ice pack and the hot water bottle are very effective home therapies recommended not only by grandmothers, but also by doctors. Their benefits are obvious: they are always available and provide quick relief for a wide variety of injuries and conditions. But while applying these therapies is simple, it is important to know in which situations cold is beneficial and when is it better to apply a heat treatment. Also, although they are home remedies, both have contraindications.
Differences of the hot water bottle and the ice bag
When we suffer a blow and the area shows inflammation and swelling, we can use an ice pack. This is also useful in case of acute wounds. The hot water bottle, on the other hand, is good for relieving pain and muscle stiffness.
What is the hot water bottle for?
Heat therapy raises the temperature in the blood vessels, which dilate, improving blood circulation and increasing the supply of oxygen and nutrients.
Therefore, provide heat in some part of the body:
Alleviate the pain
Improves flexibility of muscles
Helps heal damaged tissue
How to use heat therapy
As a general rule, the heat should never be excessive. Therefore, when preparing the hot water bottle, do not let the water boil or get too hot. It is highly recommended to wrap it in several towels or cloths, and remove them as the water cools.
There are two types of heat therapy: dry or humid heat. Dry heat is heat by conduction (like heating pads) and humid heat is heat by convection (water bags, wraps, saunas, baths).
The main difference between the two is that moist heat is considered more effective and provides relief much more quickly. By applying heat therapy, it is possible to perform a local treatment, such as a hot water bottle, or generalized, such as a hot bath or sauna. Local heat therapy is most effective in relieving sore areas of the body and improving movement.
Hot water bottle contraindications
There are some cases in which using a hot water bottle or any type of heat therapy is not recommended. For example:
When the area is bruised or swollen (cold is better).
In case there is an open wound.
People with diabetes, vascular disease, thrombosis, and multiple sclerosis.
If the person suffers from contact dermatitis.
When in doubt, it is better to consult your doctor. Pregnant women, for example, should consult your obstetrician before beginning comprehensive heat therapies, such as a sauna, Jacuzzi or hot bath.
How to apply the hot water bottle?
This is most effective when used over a period of time. In case of muscle stiffness, it is sufficient to apply heat for 15 to 20 minutes, while, to relieve pain, sessions should last 30 minutes to 2 hours.
What is the ice pack for?
The ice pack is one of the methods used by cold therapy, also called cryotherapy. While hot water bottle promotes blood flow, ice reduces it.
Therefore, it is used to:
Wounds with inflammation and pain
Pain in the joints and around tendons
Pain caused by stress or poor posture
How to use ice therapy
In addition to the ice pack, there are several ways to apply cold therapy. There are ice packs or frozen gel, cooling spray, ice massages and ice baths.
Treatment called cryotherapy includes:
The cryokinetics (ice therapy with exercises), which is recommended for sprains.
He cryostretching (muscle stretching with ice application), which may be helpful in relieving muscle spasms.
Contraindications of the ice pack
People with sensory disorders.
In muscles or joints with stiffness.
How to apply the ice pack?
For home treatment, an ice pack wrapped in a towel or cloth is used, applied to the affected area. Ice should never be applied directly to the skin. In case of injuries, the ice pack should be applied immediately and in short periods of time. The maximum time in which we will apply the cold on the affected area is 20 minutes.
Share this information, as all your friends will find it very useful. We all know the ice and hot water bottle home remedy, but we don’t know exactly what their differences are.
Leave your comments, opinions and advice on the proper use of the hot water bottle and the ice pack. You can help other people in pain by supplementing this information with your own experiences.