Using heat for injury prevention and pain relief
Hot and cold therapies have been used for centuries for pain relief and relaxation. It’s well known that applying heat to aching muscles and joints offers relief from stiffness and pain. Nowadays innovative new products provide convenient options for heat therapy that can not only be used for pain relief and injury recovery but also to prevent injuries.
How heat helps with pain relief
Heat therapy promotes the flow of blood which brings in much needed oxygen and nutrients to the affected area. This boosts the muscle healing process, soothes the pain and helps restore mobility in muscles and joints. There are different forms of heat therapy such as heat packs that can be heated in a microwave, heating blankets, warm baths, hot water bottles etc. However, they are not very portable options when you are on the go or simply need convenience. Other options for heating products are topical gels, heat rubs, lotions, self-heating adhesive heat packs and massage oils.
Heat products used for fast pain relief
When you apply a heating product such as a Deep Heat rub, the warmth relaxes the muscles, allowing better flexibility and join mobility. A key ingredient, Methyl Salicylate is a warming agent that heats up and promotes blood circulation to deliver more nutrients and oxygen to the affected area, speeding up the healing process. It also decreases the production of prostaglandins. Our body produces prostaglandins when tissue damage or infection occurs, which cause inflammation, pain and fever. Menthol, another key ingredient is instrumental in providing pain relief. It acts as a topical analgesic by blocking sensory receptors associated with pain and providing temporary pain relief.
In short, here are a few ways heat products assist with pain relief:
- Improves muscle elasticity, reduces muscle tension and relaxes painful knots and muscle cramps.
- Improves metabolic rate by stimulating natural healing processes.
- Rapidly reduces pain symptoms by blocking pain sensory receptors.
- Promotes movement and flexibility in joints.
Heat products used for exercise and sport
Heat products can be used for various purposes when it comes to sports and exercise. It can be used during the warm up phase to warm up the muscles quickly and prevent injury. This reduces the risk of muscle strains and assists with better sports performance.
Heating products and massage can also be used post-exercise to warm down the muscles and relax them. When muscles stiffen, contract and tighten, localised soreness is experienced. This can happen with tension, overuse and physically demanding activities. As we know heat boosts the blood circulation and this enables better muscle recovery and reduces soreness and stiffness.
Heat is also beneficial for injury management, especially during the recovery phase. It not only provides soothing pain relief but also aids the body’s healing process.
Heat products have been used by sportspeople for decades, and brands like Deep Heat offer a special range of heat products targeted for sports performance.
The Deep Heat PRO Muscle Massage Lotion is ideal for warming up muscles before exercise or sports. It is packaged in a convenient pump bottle and can be used with sports tape. Just massage it onto major muscle groups like hamstrings, calves, thighs, shoulders, biceps etc. to build warmth and prevent injuries.
The Deep Heat PRO Recovery Massage Oil is best used post-exercise to warm down, loosen tight muscles and help repair muscle tissue by boosting blood circulation. Protecting your muscles by incorporating various techniques such as exercise, massage and heat products into your warm up and warm down routine enables better performance in sports, lowers the risk of injury and allows you to push the limits.
Heat products used by professionals
Medical practices, physiotherapists, chiropractors, trainers and massage therapists often use heat for injury prevention, pain relief and sports massage therapy. Deep Heat Low Odour Relief, ICE Gel, Deep Heat Regular and the Deep Heat PRO range are popularly used in professional practices.
For self-managed care at home, convenient and long-lasting heat creams such as Deep Heat Night Relief, Arthritis Relief and adhesive heat patches such as Deep Heat Back Patches or Regular Patches are often recommended.
Hot and cold pain relief working together
Heat therapy and cold therapy can be used for active pain and injury management but it’s important to understand the difference and when to use each one. Here are a few guidelines to get the most from hot and cold pain relief products.
Before exercise: Apply a heat product to warm muscles and ligaments. Perform a warm up suited to your fitness level for improved blood flow and mobility, but don’t overdo it.
After exercise: Warm down your body after exercise or sport with a heating massage oil. Heat helps loosen tight muscles and increases the flow of blood to the area thus promoting faster recovery and reducing soreness.
Immediately after injury: Use cold therapy to constrict blood vessels and help minimise damage. Continue cold treatment till the swelling has reduced for up to 72 hours. Alternatively, use a cooling pain relief product like ICE Gel or ICE Spray for minor sports injuries, sprains and strains. After 72 hours, heating pain relief products can be used to speed up injury rehab.
Joint stiffness: Heat helps to relax stiff, sore and aching joints. Using a heat product will help restore mobility in joints such as knees, fingers, shoulder, elbow joints etc. It penetrates deeply to the source of pain and temporarily relieves pain associated with Arthritis, Rheumatism and Fibrositis.
Muscular pain: Heat provides fast targeted relief for muscular aches and pains like back pain, muscular cramps, strains and knots. It is also helpful during injury rehab phase. Use heat relief products such as heat rubs, pain relief heat patches or heating sports spray for temporary muscular pain relief.
Hot and cold products are individually useful and even more powerful as a team for injury prevention and pain relief.
Is heat useful for back pain?
Nagging back pain can be debilitating if not managed properly. Causes of back pain include injury, poor posture and overuse, making heating pain relief an ideal counter measure. Award-winning Deep Heat Back Patches are just one innovative product making a real difference in many Australians’ quality of life.
Heat patches are odourless and can be discretely worn underneath clothing. These adhesive patches can be applied directly to the skin and worn for up to 8 hours. They contain Iron Oxide which heats up when it comes in contact with air, making it a natural pain relief option. Instant warmth is generated on contact with skin, and pain relief continues for up to 16 hours, allowing muscles to relax, stiffness to ease and aches to diminish while you go about regular activities.
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