Hot water bottle against abdominal pain and cooling compress against the bruised knee – there is a simple formula, in which case what works against it.
The fouled footballer rolls on the lawn, the caregivers hurry on the field and cover the struck shin in a mist from the spray bottle. Healed miraculously, the athlete gets up shortly after that, hobbles a few steps, and then hurries after the ball again.
Behind the miracle cure are ice spray and so-called cold anesthesia. It is an example of therapeutic cold and heat applications that are complementary to sports injuries. However, the applications do not provide a real cure: Most of the “iced” footballers need to be treated after the match or fall out for some time.
Warm or cold?
Heating and cooling applications are primarily intended to relieve pain quickly. One rule says that in acute conditions, for example, the joint should be cooled and warmed in chronic pain. But this is not a must, but often even the opposite is more effective. Which temperature is best in the individual situation; you should try out carefully and possibly discuss with a doctor.
The cold makes you cool.
Under the influence of cold, almost every process in the body is slowed down: The activity of pro-inflammatory messengers is reduced, less congested blood enters the tissue, and pain is perceived to be less because of the nervous system is also cooled down. These effects make coldness sensible as therapy in different situations.
- When cold helps: In the case of wear disorders of the joints, after injuries of ligaments, joints, and muscles as well as after complaints after operations;
- Where applications are possible: Locally limited, regionally extended or distributed throughout the body;
- How long the treatment lasts: A treatment duration of up to five minutes applies to short-term treatment, a treatment duration of more than five minutes to long-term use; intermittently treatment over hours is possible;
- Which tissues reach the cold: the skin, the subcutaneous tissue, muscles, joints (after application);
- When cold does not help: In hypersensitivity reactions to cold, severe circulatory disorders, diseases of the coronary arteries (coronary arteries), a hypersensitivity reaction of the extremities to cold ( Raynaud’s disease ), open injuries;
|Products / Method||effect|
|Freeze Sprays||Working over evaporative cooling, e.g., by evaporating chloroethyl; Use in many non-bleeding sports injuries;
Attention! The sprays can lead to local frostbite when used unprofessionally.
|Ice packs, cold pack, cold compress||Available in many versions, as a compress they can be adapted to the body contours; useful especially for acute injuries ;
Attention! Always place a towel or similar between the ice pack and the injured area to avoid frostbite;
|cold chamber||Possible temperatures are up to -110 ° C; can help with inflammatory-degenerative and chronic inflammatory joint diseases or chronic pain; has an immediate analgesic effect.
Attention! To be performed only under medical supervision.
|Eistauchbad||Used to treat painfully altered joints; Immerse the affected part of the body in a jar of ice-cold water, under medical supervision for up to ten minutes;|
|Kneipp therapy, ice-cold wraps||Coldwater or cooling wraps can also be applied indoors, useful, for example, for chronic pain as part of a broader therapy.|
Similar to a warm-up before the heat of the sport brings the organism on the trot. All essential transport systems are accelerating. Thus, for example, antibodies of the immune system arrive more quickly to the place of use, and waste products of the metabolism are brought away faster. Also, pain-inducing signal substances are transported away quicker, thus reducing the sensitivity to pain.
- When heat helps: In case of signs of wear ( arthritis ) and chronic inflammation of the joints ;
- Where applications are possible: Local application (e.,g. fango pack), or distributed over the whole body (e.g., baths);
- How long the treatment lasts: From 15 minutes (mud pack, paraffin bath) up to 40 minutes (hay pack);
- Which tissues reach the heat: skin, connective tissue, muscles;
- When the heat does not help: In acute attacks of inflammatory joint disease, chronic respiratory problems, cardiovascular disease, acute fever or heat intolerance;
- Infrared, ultrasound, radiofrequency therapy: A therapeutic heating of the tissue by optical energy, sound waves, or electromagnetic fields.
- Peat, moor, fango, and mud packs: The heated, natural remedies act on the affected body parts and remain there for a period of about 15 to 20 minutes. The packs are often used in conjunction with massages.
- Hay therapy as bath or pack: This therapy has a strong calming effect on diseased joints, tendons, and muscles. The temperature of the haystack is about 40 ° C; the pack stays on the skin for about 35 minutes. The hay bath goes back to Pastor Kneipp.
- Hot roll: It consists of several layers of cloths. The innermost fabric soaks in hot water; it then gives off heat to the other layers. Slowly roll the towels back and forth over the affected area. When the outermost layer has cooled, remove the cloth and continue massaging with the following layers—duration: 15 to 20 minutes. The hot role helps in chronic painful conditions such as tennis elbow or even in muscle tension.
- Hot Pack, Warm Compress: Acts like the cold compress. Warm the compress in hot water or the microwave and place it on the sore spot. The hot packs are used for painful conditions of the joints.
- Paraffin bath (hands): Liquid paraffin is heated to about 45 ° C in this application. The athlete dips his hands for about five minutes and then wraps around the joints for about 20 minutes. The paraffin bath can be used in cases of severe signs of wear of the joints in the hands.
- Hypothermia: The bath starts at body temperature. Then the hot water flows to about 40 ° C are reached, the tub takes about 35 minutes. It is used, for example, in arthritis and degenerative spinal disorders. Attention! Only under medical supervision! An expert must check body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure, and after the bath, the patient must be under observation for a while.