core, physiotherapy, exercise
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FAQ026: Why do we use hot and cold to manage pain from an injury?

The hot-cold debate

We often use hot or cold to help manage pain from injuries. But I don’t know if we ever really stop to ask if our clients know why we use temperature in the first place?

The way our brain is wired

The way that our brain stays in touch with our bodies is through the nerves. If the nerves for each feeling… pain, temperature, pressure, friction, all went up in their own pathway, our brain would be bombarded. So the body uses TRACKS. It just so happens that the tracks for pain and temperature are bundled together and so they can sometimes compete. If we can have more temperature signals than pain signals going up to the brain… presto! We feel less pain. It is how we manage pain.

Anyways, I elaborate a little bit more here on the rationale behind using heat and cold for helping with pain from injuries. Using hot and cold when you are in physiotherapy for an injury can help calm the pain down so that we can work on fixing the underlying issues.

Manage Pain through Hot and Cold … make we need less Pain Killers

I love using hot and cold to manage pain from injuries. By doing this, I don’t need to take the pain medications that we often get prescribed when we have an injury. For some this is necessary, but others can get away with using heat and cold packs. If nothing else, it’s a supplement when the medications just aren’t doing everything we need them to.

Hot and Cold is one way to manage pain, cortisone shots are another (for arthritis)

Have you missed any of our other FAQ series videos? Check out a few of them! Like what is arthritis? or another type of pain relief, we talk about what is a cortisone shot?

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