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Application of Hot or Cold

Application of  Hot and ColdCold

Applying cold is a great way to help reduce inflammation which commonly accompanies injuries or in particular body conditions such as arthritis. Ways of applying cold can be a cold wet towel, ice pack or even better, and (our favorite) a cold bath.

  1. Place cold on the inflamed area, i.e the lower back, hip, hand etc
  2. Apply cold for around 10-15 minutes if its a cold towel or ice pack and up to 5 minutes for a cold bath, making sure you don’t become too cold. Monitor closely how you are feeling. Some ways to stay warmer while still receiving the benefits of the cold bath is to drink hot tea or perform small movements such as knee extensions or flexing and extending toes.
  3. Repeat several times a day depending on personal needs.


Applying heat relieves muscle tension and brings more blood to an area. if tight muscles are surrounding a joint it can also help bring relief to the joint. Ways of applying heat can be a hot wet towel, heat pads or hot bath.

  1. Place heat on the tense area, i.e the lower back, thigh etc
  2. Apply for 10 -15 minutes or as long as desired for best benefits.
  3. Don’t burn yourself and reduce the temperature for the elderly or for infants
  4. Repeat several times a day depending on personal needs.

Please be aware that applying heat to an already inflamed area can exacerbate it. So with inflammation alone you would use only cold. However, in the case of muscle tension plus an inflamed area you can combine both cold and heat by having a hot bath, while putting ice on the inflamed area or joint. This will loosen muscles and reduce inflammation at the same time.

Please note that some people might find more benefits from cold than from hot or vice versa, the best thing to do is try both and see works best for you.