Should I use Ice or Heat? -- Relieving Pregnancy Muscle & Joint Pains
- Ice is a natural anti inflammatory
- Ice is a natural pain reliever
- Ice is safe for mother and baby
- Ice can be used during all three trimesters
- Ice is readily available
- Ice is fast acting
The benefits of heat
- Heat is a natural muscle relaxer
- Heat brings blood flow to an injured area
- Heat can help reduce the feeling of pain
- Heat helps to loosen tight muscles
- Heating pads and hot water bottles are readily available.
Use ice for these aches and pains:
- Recent injuries – if you fall, or experience a new ache or pain, chances are you have inflammation in the tissue or joint. Use ice to get rid of the inflammation and for pain relief.
- Pain towards the end of the day or after increased activity – Using ice towards the end of the day and evening helps to reduce inflammation before you lie down for the night. Using heat at night may result in increased blood flow settling into the sore area while you sleep, and may cause more soreness in the morning. Use ice for back pain, hip pain, wrist or knee pain or foot pain that gets worse when you increase your activity level.
- Headaches – Ice is very effective for reducing headache pain without medication. Lie down and place an ice pack under the base of your skull or on your forehead.
- Hemorrhoids – Ice acts as an anti-inflammatory and can significantly reduce the pain if applied regularly.
- Rib Pain – Common during the final trimester, rib pain can be effectively treated with ice. It helps to reduce the pain and inflammation in the tissue, and many believe it is effective in coaxing the baby to change position. The ice can be placed on the back, side, or front of the ribs depending on where you feel the pain.
The great thing about ice is that you can use it whenever you need it. Apply ice to the painful area for 20 minutes, then remove for 40 minutes. Repeat this cycle as necessary.
Choose heat for these aches & pains:
- Chronic muscle or joint pain – if you have an old injury or condition that has responded well to heat in the past, continued use can give you relief throughout your pregnancy.
- Morning stiffness or aches after being in one position too long – if you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning because of stiffness, heat can help to loosen you up by bringing blood flow and relaxing the muscles. Heat can also be effective if you have been sitting in the car or at your desk for an extended period.
- Relaxation – heat can have a relaxing effect on the entire body. Aches and pains that are triggered by stress often respond well to heat (tight upper shoulders and neck for example)
Use heat for up to 20 minutes and repeat every few hours. If you are pregnant, you should avoid placing the heat directly on your stomach, and you should be aware of the dangers of raising your core body temperature.
How cold or hot should it feel?
The ice should be cold. If you are wrapping it in several layers or using a thick towel – the ice simply won’t be as effective. Use a pillowcase or thin towel to wrap the ice cubes or ice pack. Typically, the initial cold sensation you feel will last a few minutes and then the area will start to feel numb. This is ok. If the ice is too cold, you may notice a burning sensation that doesn’t go away, or you may notice reddening of the skin that doesn’t go away after you remove the ice. If you have a physical condition that makes you more sensitive to cold, consult your healthcare professional first.
The hot pack or heating pad should not be hot enough to burn the skin. Never place the heating pad on the highest setting, and never sleep with a hot pack or heating pad. Check your skin regularly. Any reddening of the skin should go away shortly after removing the pad.
Cold compress - Pour a little cold water before use, then add ice cubes, wrap the bag after determining the cover tightened before use
Hot compress - 70 following the injection of hot water deposited bag, up to 3/4 of the amount of water (not boiling water deposited directly into the bag, to avoid burns)
Size : 15 x 15 cm
Capacity : 600c.c.
Top Cover : P.P.
Wrap Bag : TPU + Knitted Fabrics
Temperature : -10°C - 70°C
(Source from: http://landmarkptclinics.com/pregnancy-muscle-joint-pains-should-i-use-ice-or-heat/)