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Use of hot and cold fomentations in treating pain and other problems

BY: David Prakash Kumar | Category: Health and Fitness | Post Date: 2009-08-13

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   David Prakash Kumar
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Cold and hot fomentations have been used for many years now to treat people with various ailments. Hot fomentations are more common than cold fomentations. Pain is the most common problem that is treated with hot fomentations. In a early stage of an injury cold fomentations can be given to treat the condition. As the condition becomes sub acute, hot fomentations replace the cold fomentations.

The use of fomentations is on the rise all over the world. Fomentations are being used in hospitals, homes, spas and health resorts. The fomentations have a relaxing effect on the body of the people who are given fomentations.

Effect of fomentations:

The temperature increases on being given hot fomentations. This causes an increase in the blood flow in the body of the person affected. The increased blood flow causes the transport of nutrients from the other parts of the body to the wounded site and so helps in increasing the rate of healing. The increased blood supply to the injured part also helps in removing all the debris from the affected area.

Uses of fomentations:
There are various uses of fomentations. They are listed below.

Cold fomentations:
1. Acute injury:
Immediately after an injury cold fomentation or ice can be kept over the area to prevent internal bleeding. The cold also helps to decrease the amount of blood lost.
a. Sports injuries
b. Acute Sprains of ankle
c. Knee joint injuries

2. Arthritis: Certain arthritic pains can be treated with application of cold therapy

3. Muscle action: After a stroke, patients are given icing to help to induce muscle action.

Hot fomentations:

1. Sub acute and chronic injury:
Heat can help the tissue to be relaxed and also accelerates the healing.

2. Increased blood supply: The increased healing is because of the increased blood supply that is due to the heat applied over the injured part.

3. Pain: Painful areas tend to be relieved of pain if the hot fomentations are applied over the painful area.

4. Muscle spasm: Muscle spasms are common when a person does a lot of work. Hot fomentations help to relieve these muscle spasms.

Method of applying fomentations:

There are various methods of applying fomentations. Hot and cold water fomentations can be applied with hot or cold water in a water tight bag. This is the easiest method of applying fomentations and can be done even in the house. Fomentations can also be done by keeping the water in a bottle and applied over the area. Towels are used to cover the bottle or bag depending on the heat needed.

There are also readymade hot packs and cold packs available that are expensive, but have the same effect as the previous method. These are also used for sports injuries.
In the Physical therapy departments, bigger units are available that have gel packs that are also used to give fomentations.

The other advantage about both hot and cold fomentations are that both these are natural treatments and do not have any side effects if used appropriately. This is the reason for the fomentations gaining popularity in all types of medicines.

Article Source: http://www.saching.com

About Author / Additional Info: I am a physiotherapist and also a freelance writer. I have been writing for many blogs and websites and also take up freelance assignments. Comments are welcome at prakashdavid@rediffmail.com

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