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Patented Heat & Ice Packs Designed by Physical Therapy Professionals Since 1997

Using Heat For Muscle Relief

Posted on May 04 2017

If you have injured a muscle, you may be finding yourself questioning what the most appropriate form of treatment is. One of the first decisions you have to make in order to begin healing is whether to use heat or ice on your muscles. This article will go into detail regarding exactly when and how to use heat in order to heal.

Heat does wonders for your body and the pain that it experiences throughout a lifetime. When you apply heat to the inflamed area, your sore or tightened muscles have the opportunity to relax.

The increase in temperature gives your muscle more flexibility. Not only does it take some stress off your body, heat also promotes better blood flow and circulation in the area, which prevents the buildup of waste and other side effects of muscle damage. The key use for heat therapy is to relax, provide comfort, and supply reassurance that you have cared for your injury.

So what injuries respond best to heat therapy? There are three categories that different pains can be loosely assigned to.

  1. Acute Soreness: the pain you get from over-exertion
  2. Stiffness and Pain in specific areas: such as muscle knots or cramps
  3. "Hurts all over" pain: such as fibromyalgia or the rheumatic diseases

A general rule of thumb when you use heat is that it should be applied to the area for 20 minutes up to three times a day (unless otherwise indicated).

Of course, once you begin actually treating your muscles you may find shorter or longer times provide you more relief (depending on your injury). Along with injuries that respond well to heat, though, there are those that do not. Of this includes fresh injuries, injuries that leave the skin hot or red. If the area is either bruised or swollen, it will general respond better to icing rather than heating. 



There are a variety of solutions to treat muscle pain. For many, shoulder pain can be a annoying and difficult to treat injury. To help aid the recovery process, you should begin your search with a heating pad specifically designed for the inflicted area.

An example of one would be the Shoulder Wrap from Active Wrap. This product is designed to move with you instead of being bulky and uncomfortable.

Products like this one are specifically designed to effectively treat the area in which you are experiencing pain, just heat it up and bring on the relief.

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