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Blog Posts

Ice and Heat for Physical Healing

Ice and heat are a healing method often used in most physical therapy treatments for patients. According to OSR Physical therapy, ice and heat, techniques referred to as cryotherapy and thermotherapy, are approaches to help limit muscle swelling, pain, and tension relief. Ice and heat can be used in combinations or separately depending on the injury and severity of your doctor’s diagnoses.

Ice Curing

It is advised to use ice during the initial stage of an injury (48-72 hours), which doctors refer to as an acute injury. Dr. Joseph Mercola elaborates in his article, “Ice works for injuries because it narrows your blood vessels, which helps prevent blood from accumulating at the site of injury, which will add to inflammation and swelling while delaying healing.” Effective use of ice can come from gel packs, ice wraps or direct ice that is wrapped in a towel or even placed in the traditional Ziploc bag. A popular injury treatment acronym to go by is R.I.C.E., which means rest, ice, compress, and elevate.

Heat Healing

Normally, is used to relax those tight and stiffs muscles or joints. The goal is to make those tissues more soft and limber to prevent further hard tears or new injuries. It is ideal to use heat before a workout, daily stretching, or any physical activity and avoid heat to any swollen injuries. Orthopedic Surgery Associates clarifies, “Moist heat is more effective than dry heat as it penetrates deeper and has a better effect on muscles, joints, and soft tissue.” Examples of moist heat could be a hot soaked towel, hot tubs or heating packs.

It is important to not over treat with heat, given that heat increases your blood flow and can cause extra swelling. Also, keep in mind, ice left too long on the skin can result in frostbite or other parts of the body becoming injured as well. If the injury has worsened or unimproved after consistent treatment, contact a medical professional to provide you with a custom treatment plan for your particular injury.

Healthful Perks from Both Coffee and Tea

Unfortunately, coffee, in this case, is always getting the short end of the stick when deciding what’s essentially ‘better’ for you. Often times, people tend to forget when you are enhancing your coffee or teas’ flavor with added sugars or creams, you are reducing the benefits from its organic state. So, why not both? Coffee and tea share very similar health benefits, the big deciding factor should be, ‘which one delights your taste buds?’

Energy

Both coffee and tea naturally stimulate energy from their high source of caffeine. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest research, despite the amount of caffeine consumed, high or low, the effects on the body are determined neutral. Healthline extents this conversation, elaborating that caffeine is consumed by many to become energized and alert. They mention, “80% of the world’s population consumes a caffeinated product each day…” and those products are commonly coffee, tea, energy drinks or soft drinks.

Comforting

Whether it’s coffee or tea, the smell, and feel of a hot beverage can be soothing, promote relaxation and positive energy. In the Guardian article, research results from the University of Colorado Boulder experiment predicted that “participants who briefly held a cup of hot coffee judged a target person as having a ‘warmer’ personality (generous, caring)”. This was a case study, which tested the idea of a hot drink is one of many solutions to peaceful restoration to your mood. Think of your drinking session as the time to get away from your active day or even to prepare for the energy and motivation soon to be provided from your tea or coffee. 

Promotes weight loss

As noted, both beverages contain amounts of caffeine; caffeine is a key ingredient in weight loss by increasing metabolism. An obesity research article was published on the Wiley online library; their theory was confirmed that “Weight loss was significantly higher (6.7 ± 1.4 kg) in the high caffeine intake groups than in the low caffeine intake groups…” These results were calculated over a month trial of subjects’ in-taking high amounts of caffeine and revealed signs of a reduction in weight, BMI, and waist size. Obviously, caffeine isn’t the only solution to losing significant weight, but it is definitely shown that it can be an encouragement.

Nutritional

It is evident that coffee and tea are made up of different things, so that means both give off great health benefits diversely. For example, Medical Daily highlights the stimulation released from caffeine can soothe the airways of the lungs for people with asthma and caffeine can also relax the brain’s blood vessels to reduce the side effects of migraines. Tea, on the other hand, consists of many antioxidants; one highlight is that tea can possibly prevent the development of cancer. The national cancer institute discusses the benefits of polyphenol a prominent antioxidant in green tea. It was noted that polyphenol “may protect cells from DNA damage caused by reactive oxygen species.” Tea polyphenol can even limit that amount of damage from sun UV rays and blocking the expansion of tumor cells 

Overall, just try not to overthink what is not best for you, but what is better for you. Tea and coffee both share very similar healthful incentives; it’s just deciding what works or ‘taste’ better to you. In the end, we are all trying to either find a way to relax, regroup or get motivated during our lively days but with a little extra boost!

National Physical Therapy Awareness Month!

The month of October celebrates the great opportunities and benefits offered by Physical Therapy (PT). The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) encourages people to “Get involved and urge people to choose physical therapy to improve mobility, manage pain and other chronic conditions, recover from injury, and prevent future injury and chronic disease.”

To be included in the movement and all the PT fun this month, APTA offers various ways to contribute, such as:

  • Help spread knowledge about the public about the great benefits of PT.
  • Lend a helping hand on October 12, which is PT Day of Service
  • Visit the APTA website to access great articles and information about PT.

Different settings of PT 

Physical therapy is designed to provide unique and custom treatment techniques to relieve pain and heal injuries for specific patients. Here are just some of the various settings where Physical Therapists can specialize in optimizing patient outcomes:

  • Orthopedics focus is on diagnoses related to the musculoskeletal system
    • Occupational Health focus is on promoting a healthy and productive workforce
  • Neurological focus is on any injury or impairment to the nervous system, such as the brain or spinal cord, where motor and sensory function can be affected.
  • Cardiopulmonary focus is on any heart or lung-related ailments

At Nova Medical Centers, we pride ourselves on being a premier Occupational Health provider through our constant pursuit of clinical excellence with our comprehensive approach. Our treatment philosophy is based on current research and clinical practice guidelines and is intended to promote exceptional patient outcomes, improve patient function, reduce the risk of re-injury, and promote a stay at work or full return to work.

For more information about physical therapy or if you can’t decide which option is best for you, visit the American Physical Therapy Association website, along with seeking out to a certified medical professional. Happy National PT Month!

Find out more about the Nova Medical Centers Physical Therapy Department on our website.