Temperature Therapy

Temperature therapy is the use of heat and cold to reduce pain. Heat therapy relaxes stiff joints and muscles, while cold numbs acute pain and reduces inflammation. In certain instances, both heat and cold are utilized in a single treatment as switching between heat and cold therapy may be useful certain types of pain.

Heat therapy improves circulation and blood flow to a targeted area by increasing the temperature. This may be soothing and increase muscle flexibility. There are different types of heat therapy, including dry heat like a heating pad and moist heat which includes steamed towels.

Cold therapy is used to decrease blood flow to a targeted area which can reduce inflammation and swelling, particularly around a joint or tendon. Cryotherapy is the use of freezing or near freezing temperatures and is a relatively new therapy. Cryotherapy is generally safe but should only be done at a facility with proper supervision. Never use whole body cryotherapy without another person being present.