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Why Hot & Cold Therapy Is Very Important in Physiotherapy?

Hot therapy and cold therapy treatments are widely used by physiotherapist near you for a home visit by Pro Physiotherapy, to ease the muscle soreness and pain that is caused by certain chronic diseases, sports injuries, workplace injuries, auto accidents, and other occurrences which result in physical trauma to the body.

Cold therapy causes vasoconstriction, which results in reduced inflammation, fewer muscle spasms, and less pain for patients. Hot therapy causes vasodilatation, drawing blood into the targeted area, also resulting in fewer muscle spasms, as well as the relaxation of tense muscles, the alleviation of pain, and an increased range of motion for patients.

Physical therapists may utilize cold therapy treatments and hot therapy treatments at different times, depending on the patient’s condition and stage of recovery. In this regard, cold therapy (also known as cryotherapy) is typically used first, for the initial treatment of injuries or physical pain, while hot therapy is utilized during the later stages of treating an acute injury, and is also utilized to treat chronic pain.


Hot/cold packs, wraps, compresses, heated towels, paraffin wax, hot/cold gels or other materials are applied directly to the affected areas of the body in hot/cold therapy, resulting in reduced swelling, reduced pain, decreased stiffness, fewer muscle spasms and increased blood flow for the patient.

Other hot/cold treatment methods include the use or application of hydrotherapy (ice baths), ice massage, cryocuffs, hydrocollator packs or ultrasound (for deep heating of the joints). Hot/cold therapy is also frequently combined with TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) therapy, to assist in the treatment of acute and chronic musculoskeletal pain.

The duration of cold therapy is less than heat therapy (usually 15 minutes or less), as the effect of cold is known to last longer than heat. Patients receive hot therapy and cold therapy treatments at a physical therapy clinic as a part of a comprehensive treatment plan, and may also be provided with hot packs/cold packs and hot/cold gels, for at-home care.


Hot/cold therapy may be used by physical therapists to treat soft tissue injuries that occur in the tendons, muscles, ligaments, and joint capsules. Hot/cold therapy is also commonly used to treat the pain that’s associated with acute or chronic conditions or diseases such as arthritis, tenosynovitis, tendonitis, bursitis, and fibromyalgia.

Hot/cold therapy may also be used to help alleviate pain from surgery or childbirth, as well as other discomforts or conditions.

Please contact Pro Physiotherapist near you for a home visit,  if you would like more information about hot/cold therapy .

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