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Why Not Leave Electrical Heat Pack on Sore Muscles?



Should you or shouldn’t you use heating pads on sore muscles? What about a soak in a hot tub? Or taking a nice, steaming shower?

Whether or not you find relief in heat therapy depends on the cause of muscle soreness. If the soreness is caused by an acute injury, it’s definitely recommended NOT to use an electrical heat pack.

Effects of Heat Therapy

Just because an electrical heat pack may feel good on sore muscles does not mean it is always the right solution. It could actually lead to more pain later on if it is not the appropriate treatment.

Sometimes COLD therapy is the better and safer option.

This is because heat opens up blood vessels in the affected area, which increases blood flow. If the area is already swollen, or in the process of swelling, due to an injury, increased blood flow is the opposite of what you would want.

Using heat therapy on an inflamed area will only make the inflammation worse.

If inflammation is causing the soreness, leaving a heating pad on the area will only increase and prolong the pain. It will also slow down the healing process.

When to Use Heat

So, what are electrical heat packs actually for?

Heat is typically recommended for that chronic soreness and stiffness that just won’t go away, and isn’t actually caused by an injury.

If there is stiffness, rather than swelling, heat therapy is recommended.

However, even if heat does help you, you still should not use it for too long. Leaving a wrap or pad on for a prolonged period could result in a burn.

It needs to be used carefully to ensure safety.

Heating therapy products all come with instructions. Read them carefully and follow them.

Using Heat Therapy Safely

While not common, it’s still possible to sustain first, second, or even third degree burns if you leave a heating pad on sore muscles for too long, or at a temperature that is higher than what is recommended.

Just as a sunburn might not occur immediately, a burn from a heating might not, either.

You could risk burning your skin without even realizing it - read more on safety precautions and contraindications here.

Most modern heat therapy products are designed with safety features. Electric units, for instance, typically have an automatic shutoff mechanism.

Portable products are designed to stay hot for no more than two hours at a time. It’s still your responsibility, however, to read the instructions and use them carefully.

Benefits of Heating Pads

When it is used safely, and for the right reasons, a heat therapy treatment provides numerous health benefits (see all benefits here).

It helps to relieve stiffness in the muscles and joints so that you can exercise more easily.

If you have a deliberating condition that makes it difficult to do certain physical tasks, the use of a heating pad on your lower back, neck and shoulders, hands, etc. will make it easier to do such tasks.

Not for Everyone: If you have a condition such as peripheral vascular disease or diabetes, heat therapy might not be a good option for you. It would be better to seek another solution to provide you with pain relief. If you have dry skin, you will need to make sure that you only use moist heat products. Discuss the matter with your doctor if you are uncertain.



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book your physio appointments now

Call or WhatsApp / SMS your name, preferred date, time and inquiries to +6588001830

Email any questions on symptoms / condition / insurance / preferred physiotherapy timings to nigel@phoenixrehabgroup.com

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Phoenix Rehab Physio Services

Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist physiotherapists and rehab therapists who are highly trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of expert care to our patients.



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Patients who sustained injuries to their elbows, forearms, hands, wrists (sprains and fractures) and fingers, and requires Hand Therapy to increase the function of their hand following injuries or post-operations as well as custom made hand splints.

Commonly treated hand pain injuries includes



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Clinical Pilates is a form of physical exercise that focuses on posture, core stability, balance, control, strength, flexibility and breathing.

It is a system of safe and effective exercises, which meet specific individual needs, to treat a wide range of injuries and conditions.

You may do Pilates as matwork or with the reformer or both, and every session will be customized 100% to your fitness, injury and tolerance.



TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM)



DEEP TISSUE RELEASE & SPORTS MASSAGE THERAPY

Sports and deep tissue release massage helps to increase nutrient-rich blood flow to tired, tight and tense muscles to

  • accelerate recovery and
  • shorten downtime / recovery period required

It also prevents muscles from scar tissue micro-tears (and potential ruptures), and increases muscle performance.

Done regularly, it will keeps your muscles healthy and fit with body/movement-confidence. Read the benefits of regular deep tissue release therapy here.



ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

All our allied health therapists and TCM physicians are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCMB).

See our entire team here with introductions and their specializations.

At the first session, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to help you recover as well as provide treatment in the same session.

Follow up sessions are inline to provide expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term solution.

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We do not rely on advertising - instead, we prefer and appreciate the goodwill and positive reinforcement from patients. When you have the chance, please tell your family, friends and physicians about the positive results and experience you have had in our physio clinics.

book your physio appointments now

Call or WhatsApp / SMS your name, preferred date, time and inquiries to +6588001830

Email any questions on symptoms / condition / insurance / preferred physiotherapy timings to nigel@phoenixrehabgroup.com

Phoenix Clinic Locations