Most of us don’t know the basics when it comes to treating other people’s injuries, or really even the basics regarding looking after ourselves. And yes, while there are courses on first aid, their application and the fundamentals of what each item in the emergency kit does, most of the time is done as a necessary procedure that you have to go through in order to get a driver’s licence and the main focus is on a specific set of wounds you may encounter while driving. What I am talking about, however, are the more common aches and injuries you come across in your everyday life that might not be as severe as something you might come across on the side of the road, but are still troublesome and you would like to know how to get rid of.
I am of course not talking about how to treat lacerations or infected wounds, but rather joint and muscle pains, swellings and any other more common type of injury that you might receive doing day-to-day activities or exercises. And probably the best way to do that is to get yourself a cold or warm pack (or ideally both), and apply them to the problem area of your body when needed. But how can you tell when you should use the cold pack, and when you should use the warm pack? You can’t, but that’s what I’m here to explain.
First off, let’s cover the applications of warmth, since it’s as good a place to start. A warm pack can be used to treat a whole assortment of different muscle strains or joint pains, as they are great for increasing blood flow to the area that they are applied to, as well as increasing the joints’ flexibility and soothing the pain. They are usually most often used by people that either have old wounds that get inflamed after certain activities in order to calm down the pain, or as a preventative measure to warm the problem area up before doing the activity that they know causes them problems.
Next, come the cold packs. These items are most commonly used on swellings or sprains and are best applied right after an injury in order to cool down the afflicted area and reduce the swelling as much as possible. Much like the warm packs, they are also very useful for pain, but for very different reasons. While the warmth is capable of soothing pain, the cold is much more ideal for numbing the area when the pain is too sharp to be handled any other way.
Unsurprisingly, both of these items have their own applications and benefits that they are better suited for than the other. This means that you may want to either consider getting one of each, or the much better option of getting yourself just one pack that can do both.