Help! Cold Vs Hot? What to do!


Slightly different to my normal blogs! but this one is SO NECESSARY!

I ALWAYS prescribe cold and hot therapy to patients following an Osteopathic Treatment. If we are in pain, our body is using inflammation to tell us something isn’t right.

After a treatment there is  a lot of information to take in so its easy to be unsure or not remember how to use it. Its really easy when we are uncomfortable to sit with a hot water bottle and never move again but that can actually make us more stiff. I often think of an area of pain as an angry person- its hot and red.

woman wearing white turtle neck sweater
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on

So adding more heat on to it can actually make it more angry. It doesn’t mind a little while the muscles relax from the heat but too much and it will feel attacked and go into survival mode “get away!”.

Cold Treatment

Use a packet of frozen vegetables or a cold gel pack (these are available on amazon as well as all pharmacies, supermarkets or Osteopathic practices)

Wrap it in a tea towel or a t-shirt, don’t put it straight on your skin as this can cause freeze burns.

Then place on the area directed to you or the area of pain and leave it there for up to 20 minutes at a time. You can then repeat this through out the day.

2-4 times  a day is advised. If very acute, this can be used each hour.

**If you are sensitive to the cold then split this 20 minutes into 3-5 minutes at a time then leave 3-5 minutes in between.

Hot and Cold Treatment

A cold pack (as described above) and a hot pack(this can be a hot water bottle, wheat bag e.g.)

Alternate the heat (3-5 minutes) and then the cold (3-5 minutes) then heat and then cold (repeat this again)

It’s important to remember it’s about Little and Often. Move a little, ice/heat a little, rest a little. Remember to breathe and be kind to your body!

Any questions send me an email, call or contact me through the contact form.





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