Hot OR Cold...What to Use?

Are you also confused when it comes to application of hot pack or cold pack? Like when to use and when not to use which one.

Read this article to find out your answers.

There is a basic rule that apply hot on muscle stiffness or pain as well as chronic conditions and cold on acute injuries, pain and swelling.


Hot packs usually acts by increasing the blood flow and circulation to a particular area by increase in temperature. It improves muscle flexibility and reduces stiffness.

Heat therapy can be given as:

1. Dry heat: Dry hot packs and saunas are used to provide dry heat.

2. Moist heat: Moist hot packs, moist towels etc can be used to provide this kind of heat. It is found to be more effective than dry heat.

Heat therapy must not be used in acute pain and injuries, bruises, swelling, hypertension etc.


Cryotherapy or cold therapy acts by reducing blood flow to a particular area to reduce swelling and inflammation. It also proves beneficial in treating pain due to nerves.

Cold therapy can be given using:

1. Ice packs

2. Coolant sprays

3. Crushed ice

4. Ice bath

Cryotherapy must not be used in case of muscle stiffness and poor blood circulation.

One thing that must be kept in mind whether you want to use hot or cold is that the sensation of the person should be intact otherwise it may lead to more harm than good.


Need more advice or treatment? Many health care experts at Antarnaad are always here to help you out. Antarnaad is a growing network of experienced physiotherapists, dietitians, nutritionists, fitness trainers and Yoga experts providing treatment for all the conditions. For more information visit our website or call our Consultant: Mb: 9899700187