Cold or Heat for Achilles Tendonitis: Which is Better?
Experts say, Achilles tendinitis usually occurs when repetitive motion, stress, or repeated injury irritates a tendon over time.
If you have a sudden injury to a tendon, applying ice can help reduce pain and swelling. Apply ice to the area for 15 to 20 minutes every 4 to 6 hours, and place a towel or cloth between the ice pack and your skin.
Heat may be most helpful for chronic tendonitis. Heat can increase blood flow, which can promote tendon recovery. The heat also relaxes the muscles, which can relieve pain.
Icing for Achilles tendonitis: does it help? Explained
It is suggested that, if the patient is seen in the first hours after the clinical picture is installed, cold is recommended.
Applying ice either in a bag or wrapped in a towel (never directly on the skin because it burns it). This is a period of time of 10 to 15 minutes, at least 4 times a day.
The reason for this is that, in the first hours of the injury, what predominates is inflammation.
That is why it is of vital importance that you, as a patient, know the proposal of a “medical insurance comparator” since you must go to your doctor in a timely manner and without wasting time; It will guarantee a faster recovery.
In addition, it is good that you know that, when we apply ice to a certain area of our body, it acts with the same function as analgesic medications; because by numbing the affected area as if it were an anesthetic, it causes peripheral vasoconstriction (constricts blood vessels) and reduces swelling; then it improves and decreases the pain.
Heat for Achilles tendonitis: does it help? Explained
However; If more than 48 to 72 hours have passed since the onset of the clinical picture, some forms of heat are advisable.
The heat not only relaxes the contracted muscles (remember that the tendons are like the bridge between bones and muscles), but also the heat favors the recovery process by increasing blood flow to the injury, accompanied by all the physiological mediators that trigger a faster response for recovery.
One of the homemade ways to achieve this is by using a hair dryer, never directly on the skin, but covering the affected area with a cloth or fine towel.
Thermal blankets can also be used at a rate of 3 or 4 times a day for 10 minutes.
We can also receive the specialized care of a physiotherapist, who can tell us between (diathermy, infrared rays, or magnetotherapy) which is the most appropriate for the relief of tendinitis with cold or heat.
You can use some menthol or camphorated creams or gels, which provide heat in the area.
Some of them are made with anesthetics such as lidocaine, which can help them. Never use it in places where the skin is irritated or injured. Always consult your doctor first.
I hope that this article helps you to understand can icing or heat helps your Achilles tendon to heel.
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