Try a wheat bag to treat your muscle or joint injury!
MUSCLES One of the most common injuries treated by heat is muscle spasms in the back area associated with muscular back strains. Because the back muscles have the unique ability to “splint” themselves to protect the injured area, initial treatment needs to focus on reducing the muscle spasms.
How does heat therapy work? Heat has been found to be effective at reducing the pain associated with muscle spasms by providing an analgesic effect and relaxation effect for tight muscles. For small muscle spasms, moist or dry heat packs as a wheat bagcan be effective. Larger areas can be treated by full-body immersion in a hot whirlpool or jacuzzi. Heat modalities should be used prior to stretching for 10 – 15 minutes. After heating, a gradual and progressive pain-free stretch can be applied to the area.
JOINTS Heat therapy is also effective in increasing the range of motion of joints after injury. Once the swelling from the original injury begins to subside, the injured area can be heated using a warm whirlpool or wheat bag / hot pack for 10 -15 minutes. Because tissue becomes more extensible after it has been warmed up, range of motion exercises can be performed after heating to improve joint motions. The goal is to gradually increase the range of motion of the joint and restore it to pre-injury levels. However, care must be taken to not push a joint through pain as this can actually reinjure the tissue.
What types of joint injuries can I treat by heat therapy? Joint injuries that can benefit from superficial heating to increase joint movement after injury include:
elbow and wrist sprains,
thumb and finger sprains.
Hot or cold on sports injuries?
Let's see when we use heat therapy and cold therapy to treat sports injuries. Thermotherapy can be an effective treatment in facilitating the healing process of sports injuries. Keep in mind that the application of heat too early can exacerbate tissue damage in an acute injury and actually prolong the healing process. There are three main phases to the healing process of our body:
Inflammatory phase - The damage to the blood vessels causes fluids to build up in the injured area causing swelling. To help reduce it, cold therapy is the best to use right after an injury. Cold applications of wheat bags can help slow down and decrease the circulation to the area. Do not apply heat. This phase of the healing process can last from 2 to several days depending on the amount of tissue damage.
Proliferation phase is characterized by the laying down of new tissue and the formation of scar tissue. Again, depending on the amount of damage to the injured area, this phase can begin on post-injury day three and last for several weeks. Heat can be applied to the injured area to facilitate the healing process. You entered phase two of healing when the initial swelling and pain of the injury starts to decrease.
Remodeling phase - Heat therapies can be used. During this phase the new tissue laid down during phase two matures. This phase can last up to one full year depending on the type of tissue that was injured.
Why to use wheat bags to heal injuries:
efficient: in the first 10 - 15 minutes you get the most benefits
easy to use and versatile: heat in the microwave or keep it in the freezer