What is a compress?
A thick piece of absorbent material applied to the injured part of the body to relieve inflammation or stop bleeding or used to apply moisture, heat, cold or medication. Warm and cold compresses are applied to various injuries because they help our body to heal and restore itself.
What is a warm compress?
A method of applying heat through dry and warm or wet and warm items to relieve pain, discomfort, and much more. Usually, through a mixed chemical pack the heats when activated/squeezed or a warm washcloth to apply heat to the body to help in relieving the desired affected area.
What is a cold compress?
A combination of cryotherapy and compression, through applying cold to the body’s affected areas through dry and cold or wet and cold items; that should be used along with the principles of R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to reduce pain and swelling from minor/acute sports or activity related injuries to soft tissues, joints, and more. It’s also recommended by orthopedic surgeons following surgery or in surgical procedures.
Ice can decrease swelling and inflammation and help stop bleeding. The cold restricts blood circulation, which in turn can numb the pain. It can also help limit any bruising.
- Gel-based ice packs.
- Instant cold packs.
- Homemade ice bags.
- Cool damp towels.
- Warm damp towels
- Instant warm packs
- Heating pads
Benefits of a warm compress.
- Can Add moisture.
- Keep natural oils from clogging.
- Relieves pain.
- Relieves discomfort.
- Helps Relax muscle spasms.
- Helps warm and loosen up muscles.
- Helps drain boils.
- Increases blood flow.
- Can help remove the gunk and debris you have built up in the morning and through the day.
- Normally helpful with sore muscles not associated with a specific injury and a variety of eye problems and discomforts.
- Can help reduce the chances of soreness during and after activities and help prevent sports/activity-related injuries.
- Should not be used for the first 48 hours following an injury.
Benefits of a cold compress.
- Useful for sprains, strains, pulled muscles and pulled ligaments.
- Protects body tissue.
- Helps reduce signs of inflammation
- Slows the metabolic rate.
- Reduces swelling and pain around the injured area.
- Helps slow and stop bleeding.
- Numbs pain.
- Used in treating ocular allergies.
- Uses Cryotherapy, the use of ice or cold in a therapeutic setting for common treatments in orthopedic medicine.
Both compresses should be used with logic and caution. With the use of ice in cool compresses, never allow direct contact to skin. Always have some sort of cloth barriers, like a towel or washcloth to stop ice from burning and causing further injury even if it is in a bag unless directed otherwise or proven safe. In warm compresses, make sure the items you pick and procedures you take with them are never too hot to scold or burn you.