Ah, waking up to see the sight of a sunny morning, hear the lovely songs of birds, feel fully awaken and prepare to tackle the new day with the powerful smell and savoury taste of a freshly made coffee. Sounds perfect, right? To be able to enjoy every day to the fullest, or rather enjoy life. Well, try being this positive when you have to go day by day feeling the discomfort of aches and pains.
Makes you think the sun doesn’t shine so bright, the songs of birds aren’t that lovely, and coffee’s taste and smell aren’t that powerful, they’re nothing they’re cracked up to be. All of a sudden, life isn’t that enjoyable, and all of your focus and attention switches to the unbearable aches and pains.
Don’t worry, there are age old popular techniques to help you out in reducing the degree of the discomfort, and make life less unpleasant, that have nothing to do with taking painkillers: the hot and cold therapy with the help of a hot cold pack applied to the ache and pain spot.
Heat (thermotherapy) and cold (cryotherapy) have been used for alleviating pains for centuries, and it’s no surprise they’re well known to athletes who seek their help for immediate pain relief for both stiff muscles, and injuries.
The reason a hot cold pack is used as the means to treat aches and pains is because it’s a specialised bag that has gone through improvements nowadays, so instead of the old wheat bag, you can find the more advanced lupin bag, made of 100% Australian lupin, that’s hypoallergenic (no chemicals used), suitable to be heated and frozen. Then there’s also the gel pack for hot and cold therapy, and the silicon beads for hot therapy, so you have plenty of options to choose from.
The way heat helps is through vasodilation, allowing more blood and oxygen (healing nutrients are sent off to the needed area) to make it through the veins, by relaxing them (or simply said, widening them), whereas the cold works through vasoconstriction, as it makes the muscles flex by slimming the veins (narrows them). Heat soothes the pain, cold reduces the inflammation causing it.
Sometimes you might only need heat, or cold, while other times, you could do well by relying on both simultaneously. If relying on both hot and cold, make sure you apply cold prior to hot for better results.
In the end, it depends on the pain you’re enduring, and the area affected, so do a bit of research before applying this sort of therapy, to be able to choose between the two, and get the ideal timing. For instance, while lower back pain can do well with hot packs being applied throughout a day, back pain in general would do better with moist heat such as that from a hot shower for about 15 minutes.
This is a relieving method per se, however, depending on the aches and pains you’re enduring, it might not prove to be the only solution, so if you want optimal results and the pains still aren’t getting the relief you were hoping for, consider paying your doctor a visit and get some medication.