There are many philosophies of using heat and cold to treat injuries at home. I want to give you a few ideas to think over.

I’ll see if I can get myself in hot water again…no pun intended:) I love heat…and prescribe it way more than any therapist I know. When you see me at Montgomery Massage Therapy, I promise you will leave heating something.

So Heat Vs Cold

We will start cold because that is what everyone is told to do.

If you have really torn or hurt something and you have some serious swelling than absolutely go cold. Usually you are told to go 10 mins at a time. I think everyone is pretty comfortable with that.

We have been taught for many years to R.I.C.E

R… rest

I… ice

C… compress

E… elevate

Interesting enough this theory is now in conversation with the thinking that maybe ice is not the best idea…. I will just let that hang out there:)

Reminder: It is always important to thaw the area you have iced before you get up and start walking on the area of using it for normal function.

Heat! Oh I love heat. If you have something that is tight, achy or a dull pain (without visible inflammation) I tend to go heat. Heat flushes blood into the area which is going to soften the muscle and reduce tension as well as bring nutrition to the area.

As a bonus, the muscle is now nice and warm which provides a great time to stretch or roll the area with a foam roller. (preferred roller is the GRID)

Let’s say your knee is inflamed…you can go ice over the knee and heat over the thigh. The heat over the thigh will increase circulation in the area which will suck the inflammation out of the knee.

Let’s say your achilles tendon is inflamed. Same trick. You can ice the actual inflamed spot on the achilles and heat the calf bringing circulation to the calf and sucking it away from the achilles.

Good time for me to remind you… what is written in this blog is the opinion of the person writing the blog. There are many other philosophies out there.

There are many sources of heat. Heating pad, hot water bottle, magic bag, hot bath, hot tube…car seat heaters.



I recommend the Thermaphore for several reasons.

It is therapeutic grade and will last. I have had my personal one since 1998…and it gets a lot of use! The beauty of the Thermaphore is the size and the deep moist heat.

The heat it generates seems to be stronger than any other heating pad I have used. I recommend the large size because it can cover a much bigger area.

For example…I can lay on my belly and cover both glutes and hamstrings at the same time… or lay on my side and cover anterior and posterior hip muscles, quads, ITB and hamstrings at one time.

Normally you would need to pick one of these up at a massage therapy supply store. Recently with have brought them into the office for you to purchase and save the drive across town.

Have a wonderful day!


My purpose of righting these blogs is not to get all scientific but more to just communicate ideas at a level everyone can understand and appreciate.

I will talk about other sources of heat/cold therapy in upcoming blogs. Anyone out there a fan of the ice bath?