Local therapy is best for small areas of pain, like one stiff muscle. You could use small heated gel packs or a hot water bottle if you only want to treat an injury locally. Regional treatment is best for more widespread pain or stiffness, and could be achieved with a steamed towel, large heating pad, or heat wraps.
Is a hot water bottle good for muscle pain?
Heat and cold therapy are often recommended to help relieve an aching pain that results from muscle or joint damage. Basic heat therapy, or thermotherapy can involve the use of a hot water bottle, pads that can be heated in a microwave, or a warm bath.
Is heat good for a pulled muscle?
A pulled muscle should first be treated using the R.I.C.E. method. During the first 72 hours, heat should be avoided to prevent increased swelling and inflammation. After about 72 hours, heat can be incorporated into treatment to increase blood flow and aid the overall healing process.
What is better for a strained muscle hot or cold?
Typically, cold is most appropriate for acute injuries and heat is a better bet for chronic injuries. Placing an ice pack on an acute injury immediately helps to reduce pain and swelling because ice is a vasoconstrictor.
Does hot water bottle help inflammation?
Heat pads, hot water bottles and hot moist cloths are the most common ways of applying heat to inflammation. Heat therapy is said to work because of its analgesic properties or its ability to bring blood to the area which can penetrate deep into the muscular tissue.
Does heat make muscle strain worse?
When to Use Heat
Heat will make the swelling and pain worse, which is not what you want. You also should not apply heat if your body is already hot — for example, if you’re sweating. It won’t be effective.
What does heat do to muscles?
Heat helps soothe sore muscles that cause back pain or neck pain. It works best for injuries that are at least few days old. Heat opens blood vessels, which can assist the healing process and alleviate some of your pain. Additionally, some arthritis pain from stiff joints can benefit from heat as blood flow increases.
Is it better to rest or exercise a pulled muscle?
“The most important treatment for acute muscle strain is rest,” he explains. “Continuing to stress a pulled muscle could result in further damage to muscle and a much longer healing time. Icing can be very beneficial immediately after the injury and for two to three days after to limit swelling.
What is the best thing to do for a pulled muscle?
For immediate self-care of a muscle strain, try the R.I.C.E. approach — rest, ice, compression, elevation: Rest. Avoid activities that cause pain, swelling or discomfort.
How long does a muscle strain last?
What’s the outlook for someone with muscle strain? Recovery time depends on the severity of the injury. For a mild strain, you may be able to return to normal activities within three to six weeks with basic home care. For more severe strains, recovery can take several months.
What helps ligaments heal faster?
Injured ligaments heal faster when treated in a way to promote good blood flow. This includes short-term use of icing, heat, proper movement, increased hydration, and several sports medicine technologies like NormaTec Recovery and the Graston technique.
How can I speed up muscle recovery?
How to treat a pulled muscle
- Rest. Rest the muscle for a few days or until your doctor gives you the okay. …
- Ice. Apply ice to the injury for 20 minutes each hour you’re awake. …
- Compression. Wrapping the muscle with an elastic bandage can help bring down swelling. …
- Elevation. …
- Medication. …
Should I stretch a strained muscle?
While it may seem counterintuitive, stretching a strained muscle only makes it worse. Your best bet involves avoiding any movement that agitates the affected area and continue to rest until the pain subsides.
Is sleeping with a hot water bottle bad for you?
In addition to keeping you warm, hot water bottles can be great for simultaneously helping you relax, relieve stress, ease aches and pains, and get a good night’s sleep. All of these can be great for your short and long term health.
Does heat make inflammation worse?
Heat can make inflammation significantly worse. Ice can aggravate symptoms of tightness and stiffness; it can also just make any pain worse when it’s unwanted. Both ice and heat are pointless or worse when unwanted: icing when you’re already shivering, or heating when you’re already sweating.
Should I use heat or ice?
As a general rule of thumb, use ice for acute injuries or pain, along with inflammation and swelling. Use heat for muscle pain or stiffness.