If you injure your foot, you may be unsure about whether to apply ice or heat to help relieve the pain or swelling. For any type of foot injury, you should always seek advice from an experienced podiatrist to get a correct diagnosis and whether or not to use cold and warm therapies for your injuries, and which of the two is best for your unique injury.
When to Use Cold Therapy for a Foot Injury
Cold therapy is commonly recommended for new or acute injuries such as a sprain or strain. Cold therapy reduces blood flow and can help with swelling and inflammation. According to our DFW podiatrist, it can also be used to relieve pain and soreness after working out since cold therapy can numb the affected area. Cold therapy should not be used to treat chronic muscle pain, stiffness, or aches.
Types of Cold Therapy for Feet
- Ice packs
- Cooling sprays
- Ice baths
- Gel packs
- Frozen water bottles
- Cold shower
When to Use Warm Therapy for a Foot Injury
Unlike cold therapy which can help reduce swelling and inflammation of a new injury, warm therapy can be used to relax sore or tight muscles by increasing blood flow and circulation to the affected area. According to our DFW podiatrist, using warm therapy is recommended for chronic pain and long-term injuries. Warm therapy should not be used if there is inflammation or swelling since it can worsen those symptoms. Heat should never be used on an open wound or if you have a condition such as diabetes that causes a loss of sensation because you could suffer a burn and not realize it.
Types of Warm Therapies for Feet
- Heating pad
- Steamed towels
- Hot bath or shower
Using Both Cold and Warm Therapies for Feet
For some types of foot injuries, your DFW podiatrist may recommend alternating cold and warm therapies. This treatment plan can help restore blood flow to the affected area and provide continuous circulation. Before using either type of therapy, consult with our DFW podiatrist to determine what will work best for your specific needs.
Contact Our Experienced Texas Podiatrists
If you have injured your foot or are experiencing foot pain, contact Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists for a consultation today. We can create an individualized treatment plan based on your specific needs. To request an appointment, contact our Grapevine or Keller office by filling out our convenient online contact form or by calling our office at 817-481-4000.