Health knowledge about hot and cold compresses

Many people in daily life don't know whether to apply hot or cold compresses when they are injured.

Now let us understand the cold and hot compresses together



  • Constricting blood vessels can reduce capillary exudation and prevent edema and exudation
  • Cold stimulation reduces the metabolic tissue rate, fundamentally minimizes the possibility of inflammatory reactions and reduces the symptoms of redness and heat pain;
  • Inhibition of sensory nerves, analgesic, and anesthetic effects.
  • Strengthen collagen file


  • Promote blood circulation, dilate local capillaries, accelerate blood circulation, and play a role in reducing inflammation, swelling and removing cold and dampness
  • can increase the flexibility of human soft tissues, relieve the symptoms of muscle spasms, and reduce pain.
  • Hot compress can also soothe and relax emotions, and eliminate fatigue


Cold compress: A cold compress for acute inflammation or just injury. Example: Acute sprain; Hot compress: apply warm compress at the later stage of chronic inflammation or severe injury. For example: after 72 hours of lumbar muscle strain or sprained waist



  • Severe injury (no wound): Strain or sprain caused by playing, running, or a specific action. Within 24 hours of sprain, bleeding and inflammation are common consequences, manifested as pain and swelling. At this time, ice compress is required, not hot compress.
  • After strenuous exercise: When you have just finished vigorous exercise or the amount of exercise is a bit excessive, and the joint feels uncomfortable, it is suitable to apply ice instead of hot compress.
  • Ligament tearing: Ligament tearing should be applied on ice instead of hot, soaked in an ice water bath for 15 minutes every 3 hours.
  • Pain after tooth extraction: There will usually be a period of swelling and pain after tooth extraction. At this time, ice should be applied to reduce the pain threshold and have the effect of “analgesic tablets”.
  • Some extravasation of drugs that are not easy to absorb and have a greater irritation: such as chemotherapy, anticancer drug extravasation: local cold compress should be performed as soon as possible, which has reduced tissue swelling and pain to prevent the combination of extravasation drugs and tissue


  • Late acute injury: at least three days after injury
  • For example, some people accidentally bumped during exercise. At that time, they could not feel pain but felt pain after a period of time. This is a chronic injury. You can cover the injured area with a hot towel to relieve the wound.
  • Chronic injury: if the neck, shoulder, back, waist, and leg pain are degenerative fatigue injuries, such as lumbar muscle strain, frozen shoulder, etc. These diseases are old problems, pain from time to time, and if there is no inflammation recently, it is recommended to come through a warm water bath relief the pain.
  • Arthralgia: Chronic arthralgia is mainly caused by cold or poor blood flow. Using hot compress can promote blood circulation to relieve pain.
  • Pillow drop: neck pain caused by falling pillow can be a hot compress to promote blood circulation and relieve muscle spasm to reduce pain.
  • Diarrhea, dysmenorrhea: hot compress around the lower abdomen to promote blood circulation, disperse cold, promote blood circulation, relieve pain.
  • After intramuscular injection, buttocks appear in the buttocks: hot towel hot compress the injection site.

Note: Do not apply heat immediately after injection. Immediate application of heat may cause drug extravasation or microbial entry, causing itching, redness, and other inflammatory reactions. You must wait a few minutes before applying heat.


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