Experts disagree about the use of heat after an injury.
Do not recommend using heat because it may
increase swelling, especially in the first few hours right after the injury. If
you decide to use heat and you notice that the swelling increases, stop using
heat and return to cold treatments.
Think heat speeds healing.
Heat applied after an injury may help restore and maintain flexibility.
You can use a hot water bottle, a heating pad
set on low, or a damp, heated towel.
Do not apply heat to an
injury sooner than 48 hours after the injury.
To avoid burning
your skin, do not use anything that feels too warm.
Think it is best to alternate between heat and cold
If you have
diabetes or have areas of chronic numbness, do not use
heat unless your doctor has told you to do so. Lack of feeling in
the area could cause a burn.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.