Chiropractic care for Wellness

Why You Need to Use A Heat Compress in Vacaville

Why You Need to Use A Heat Compress

Heat therapy is a method of treatment that uses, well, heat. This method applies heat to the affected area to increase the blood flow which in turn can bring in the needed oxygen and proteins for healing. There's no doubt that the overall benefits of this treatment are very prevalent. It is intended to relieve muscle spasms, decrease joint stiffness, and reduce inflammation and pain.

In fact, you can use heat therapy to these following conditions:

  • Ear infections
  • Boils and cysts
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Sore muscles
  • Sinus congestion
  • Eye issues

When doing a heat compress, you can use 2 types:

  • Dry warm compress - For this method, you can use a dry surface to transfer the heat. A heating pad or a rubber hot water bottle are the best choices for this one.
  • Moist warm compress - This one uses a warm liquid to apply heat to the affected area. You can use a towel soaked in hot water to treat certain conditions.

Should I Use A Dry or Moist Warm Compress?

No matter which one you use, both the dry and moist warm compress can provide the needed heat to your skin. However, moist heat is more recommended since it's effective against deep muscle tissue pain.

According to a 2013 study, moist heat can help relieve muscle soreness much faster compared to dry heat. Moist heat is also used to treat congestion, sinus headaches, and muscle soreness.

But if you're nowhere near your home, a dry compress can be the best choice since it's convenient and won't require any cleanup.


How to create a moist warm compress

Making yourself a moist warm compress can be easily done at home. You can do it by following this method:

  1. Find a bowl and fill it with hot water that's not scalding to the touch.
  2. Soak a small towel in the hot water and wring out the excess.
  3. Fold the towel into a square or rectangle shape then apply it to the pained area.
  4. Let it stay on your skin for a good 20 minutes and repeat if necessary.

How to create a dry warm compress

Just like the moist warm method, this one can also be easily done at home. But instead of using a towel, you can gather some uncooked rice, and a clean, long sock. If you don't have any rice, salt can be a great alternative. You need to also have a source of heat like a microwave for this method.

  1. Fill in the foot part of the sock with uncooked rice.
  2. Secure the top of the sock by tying it up.
  3. Place the rice-filled sock in the microwave for 30 seconds. If needed, continue heating it in 15-second increments until it becomes warm but not too hot to the touch.
  4. Apply it to the affected area for 20 minutes at a time and repeat it if necessary.

If the affected area is small, you can just use a metal spoon and soak it in hot water for 10 seconds, or until it heats up. Wipe the spoon dry and apply it to the pained area for up to 20 minutes. Make sure that the spoon is not too hot when you apply it to your skin.


Heat Compress Benefits

There's no doubt that using heat therapy can be beneficial for a variety of conditions. It is ideal for the following:

  • Heal injuries - When applying heat, it can increase blood flow throughout the body. An increase in blood flow can make your injuries heal faster and relieve any pain that you're feeling from the acute injury.
  • Relieve soreness - The best thing about heat therapy is that it can provide you with relaxation, comfort, and taking away any pain in the body. If you're doing some over-exertion or tried working out a certain body part that hasn't been worked for a while, then there's no doubt that soreness can easily sink in. Heat therapy is perfect for these discomforts since it can relieve pain and soreness which will allow the muscles to be relaxed. If you're having muscle spasms, heat therapy can be perfect for it as well.
  • Soothe body stiffness - There are a number of reasons why body stiffness occurs wherein one of them can stem from sleeping in the wrong position. When you feel stiff, you will surely lack mobility and become uncomfortable. Heat therapy is great for this one since it will provide you with a warm, comforting sensation. You can accompany your heat therapy session with some light stretching to ease the pain of your muscle stiffness.
  • Reduce stress and tension - Stress and tension is a combination that your body doesn't want. When heat is applied, the tension in these muscles can be easily relieved. Heat therapy is also great for easing the stress since it can help relax your body. The warmth provides comfort and a soothing feeling to the affected area.

Feel free to call the team at Absolute Family Chiropractic in Vacaville if you have any questions about how to use ice or heat to your advantage!

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Absolute Family Chiropractic
1490 Alamo Drive Suite B
Vacaville, CA 95687
(707) 474-5688