HOT WATER BOTTLES & SPORTS INJURIES
Hot water bottles have a wide range of uses, and one of these uses is as an aid to recovery from sports injuries. They are great to use during heat treatment and can really help to speed up the recovery process and get you back on the pitch as soon as possible.*
Heat treatment or therapy can be used as part of the recovery for damage caused to muscles during sport, and can be used immediately, with many injuries requiring the area to be quickly chilled with an ice pack to prevent any further damage to the muscle. This is done so that the blood vessels shrink in size within the muscle and thus the bleeding in the tissue is limited, making the time it takes to recover significantly quicker than if the injury is just left. Heat should be applied to the injured area no sooner than 48 hours after the injury happens, as it will prevent further bleeding into the tissue.
When using heat treatment, the main aim is to reduce the pain felt around the area, and also to make recovery a quicker process. The heat applied to the area should be warm, but not hot; it is generally recommended to be that of a warm bath. If the heat is too high, further damage may occur to the tissue or injured area. The heat speeds up the recovery process by opening up the blood vessels and thus increasing the blood flow to the problem area. Heat treatment can also reduce stiffness in the injured area afterwards.
Hot water bottles are very effective for heat treatment, as they can warm even the deepest tissue, which cannot be done by conventional gels or heat packs. They are also one of the most effective ways of having heat treatment, as they are reusable, easy to use and most importantly the temperature can be controlled to suit your tolerance.
Hot water bottles can also be used as cold compresses, simply fill with water and place in the freezer for a few hours. Do not let them freeze solid, but let them go to a slush-type consistency, then wrap in a towel or cover, to avoid any danger of damaging the skin. Administer to the required area for as long as necessary.
The following links give information about heat treatment, what to do and when:
*Always seek medical advice prior to undertaking any treatment for injuries sustained through sports.
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