Hot and Cold treatment & what works best, when.
You’ve been smashing your PB’s in the gym lately, hitting personal bests for your squats, making consistent progress with your bench press goals, and now you can’t walk up the stairs without feeling like your legs are going to buckle. Do you get comfortable with a nice warm Myoball, or head to the freezer and grab the icy cold one?
While people often resort to using hot or cold on their muscles, these two types of recovery do the exact opposite of one another. Using heat will increase blood flow while applying cold will decrease it. So, which one is best for you?
Here’s when to use each and why.
When to use cold therapy.
Cold therapy, or cryotherapy reduces blood flow to sore muscles or an injury site. This is why most people tend to opt for the ice pack when they stub their toe on the corner of the couch!
The application of ice helps to constrict the blood vessels which direct the blood flow away from the injury site and reduce swelling, bruising and inflammation.
When you workout, your muscles experience microscopic tears and microtraumas which lead to inflammation, fluid build-up and a bunch of other things that result in muscle soreness.
When you apply cold straight after a workout you can slow the inflammation process and reduce muscle soreness. Cryotherapy is also extremely effective at swollen and inflamed joints.
No matter the injury type, cold therapy is best applied within 48 hours of a workout or an injury for best results. While ice is definitely good within the first 48 hours of an injury, it also has benefits during later stages of injury. You can use ice after a workout or any time there is pain, inflammation, swelling or muscle spasms.
When to use heat therapy.
Heat therapy – which should actually only be warm and not overly hot dilates blood vessels and helps to promote blood flow. This helps to relax sore muscles and “open them up”.
In doing this, circulation improves, more oxygen and nutrients are delivered to your muscles. Lactic acid and metabolic waste that was created as a result of the injury is also removed which is essential for muscle repair.
You should avoid using heat on injuries within the first 24 hours as it will cause an increase in swelling & inflammation
Let’s break it down.
- Cold can reduce inflammation.
- Cold can treat existing injuries.
- Cold is best applied within the first 24 hours of a workout or injury.
- Heat relaxes muscles.
- Heat helps to promote blood flow which means your muscles get oxygen and nutrients.
- Heat is best applied after the initial 24 hours of injury.
No matter what your situation is, with a Myoball you will always be in control and ready to treat your injury or muscle soreness. Anytime, anywhere – Myoball is recovery reinvented.
We recommend our Twin Pack of Myoballs for those serious about their recovery.