August 17, 2020




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Should you use hot or cold compression to treat sprains?
To treat a sprained ankle, some friends would suggest cold compress, while others would advise using hot compress to reduce swelling. So which is the correct method?

Cold compress can reduce the increased blood flow as well as relieve pain and swelling, and is suitable to use in emergency cases. Using cold compress on the injury that exhibit symptoms like redness, swelling, pain, and hot to touch, can reduce increased blood flow and water retention.

Avoid placing ice cubes directly on the injury. Put them in a bag with an appropriate amount of water, and cushion it with a towel before placing directly on the affected area. You should do this every 10 to 20 minutes, and repeat the action after a 10-minute rest.

Hot compress on the other hand encourages blood circulation. It is suitable to be used on the sprained areas that do not show redness or feel warm to touch; when blood clots have formed beneath the skin after 72 hours; also when chronic inflammation occurs, such as chronic pain on the neck and waist or muscle fatigue. Under such circumstances, hot compress improves blood circulation, relieves inflammation on specific areas, and helps relax the muscles.

You may use hot towel or warm boiled egg to carry out hot compress, but do keep an eye on the temperature of the towel to ensure it does not burn the skin. Place the item on the injury for 10 – 20 minutes, then warm the towel before reusing it. You may also wrap a boiled egg with a towel and massage the area to encourage blood circulation and speed up the healing process around the bruises.

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