Hot & Cold Therapy Products Buying Guide

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We hate to face it, but we all get injured every now and again. If you're an athlete, you may want to have some hot  or cold  therapy products around in case that day comes. These products will soothe, numb, and treat your pain, making for an easier recovery.

Hot or Cold?

Even if it may not seem like it, there is a big difference between the treatment properties of hot and cold therapy. Here are the basics:

  • Cold
    • Use it immediately after an injury. The cold temporarily blocks the blood flow from the area, which will help to numb it and then you won't feel much pain. This also protects the tissues from being damaged in the long run.
    • Treat area with cold therapy for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. Remove the cold and allow the skin to warm again. This will allow the blood to flow back to the area as needed.
    • Be sure to not apply cold directly to skin, which can lead to a burn. Always use a barrier, like a towel.
    • Cold therapy can be used as treatment on chronic injuries after an intense workout.
  • Hot
    • Heat is used on chronic injuries as treatment to increase blood flow to the area. Great for stiffness, soreness, and pain.
    • Heat can also be used to warm up the muscles before a workout, but should never be used after a workout.
    • Same as with cold therapy, do not apply the heat directly to the skin because you will get burned. Use a towel or some other barrier.

Types and Styles

There are many different hold and cold therapy products out there, so you're sure to find one that's right for you. For general use, a multi-purpose hot/cold pack  usually does the trick just fine. If you're looking for something more specific or special, browse the different options below.

Heat

Hot Bottles 

These are filled and heated tpo use as a hot compress. Look for ones that have a cover or pouch to better the experience.

Heating Pad 

Coming in a variety of sizes, heating pads are easy to use and warm up quickly. They provide a long lasting heat.

Heat Patch 

If you don't have time to lay down with a hot compress, a patch is a great alternative. They are easy to use and provide a quick dose of heat to the area.

Heat Wraps 

These come in all shapes and sizes for each part of the body, they can also be used as cold packs. Great for chronic pain.

Other

Infrared heat, paraffin, and waxbaths are all other heat treatments to soothe aches and pains. For more serious injuries, professional ultrasound is an effective treatment, too.


Cold

Analgesic Rub 

A topical cream that numbs the skin to relieve muscle aches and pains. MOst are inexpensive.

Hot/Cold Compress 

Flexible and easy to use, keep some in your freezer, just in case.

Gel Cold Compress 

These provide a long lasting cold sensation that is good if you have chronic pain.

Instant Cold Packs 

These one time use cold packs are great for your fist aid kit, but cannot be used every day.

Related Products

Braces 

Back Cushions 

Analgesic Rubs 

Insoles 

Foot Massagers