Hot Or Cold For Leg Cramps?
My son and I both get really bad leg cramps on occasion and I am never sure if I should use cold or hot compresses. Which would work better for relieving the pain?
14 Responses to “Hot Or Cold For Leg Cramps?”
June 14th, 2008 at 1:07 pm
I went to a chiropractor several years ago with bad leg cramps. For her first treatment on me, she used cold compress. Then on a follow up treatment she used hot. When I asked her why, she said it is best to use cold first in case of internal bleeding. I am not a doctor, so I still don’t understand why it might bleed internally, but her treatments did help me, and I only had the two treatments with good results.
June 14th, 2008 at 4:35 pm
I tried the hot one, and it’s better than the cold one
June 14th, 2008 at 9:07 pm
Cold compresses numb the skin and muscle, reducing pain initially, but cold can cause damage over longer periods of time, so keep the use of very cold treatments (like ice rubs) to a maximum of 15 minutes. Hot compresses stimulate the movement of blood, which helps with repair of tissue damage and relaxation of tensed muscles. Depending on the severity of your pain, I’d start with a short ice rub, then follow with a warm compress or soak.
June 17th, 2008 at 7:50 am
Through personal experience, alternating between the two works well. I usually prefer hot compresses to relax the muscles. Both should only be used no more than 10-15 minutes. Also massage should be combined with the compresses. The hot ones are more soothing. Just remember to not make it to hot otherwise you could burn yourselves.
June 17th, 2008 at 8:33 am
I don’t belive that hot or cold will help on your legs. My best bet is putting on a long pair of stockings.
June 17th, 2008 at 8:55 am
About a year ago, I had surgery twice on my right knee due to an injury. Ever since then, I have suffered from leg cramps and leg pain from my hip down. For me, I have to use a combination of cold and hot. I use the cold to reduce the pain and do this for about 10 minutes. I then wait another 10 minutes or so and add the heat, this relaxes and loosens up the muscles so they are not so tight.
June 17th, 2008 at 9:03 am
Hot doesn’t feel as good at first, but in the long run it is much better for you.
June 17th, 2008 at 9:04 am
I have used both hot and cold and only the hot seems to work. It relaxes the muscle. The cold just seems to bother me more. If I soak in a hot bath, it also gets better.
June 17th, 2008 at 9:12 am
I have also found that alternating cold and warm works well. Make sure you alternate every 15 minutes, also make sure there is a barrier with the cold compress (like a wash cloth). That way the ice pack is not directly on the skin.
June 17th, 2008 at 9:16 am
I would definitely use the hot because what it does is relaxing the muscle. The cold freezes the muscle only causing temporary relief.
June 17th, 2008 at 9:48 am
I usually use a heating pad for my leg cramps.
I’ve found that cold compresses are better for sprains.
June 17th, 2008 at 9:57 am
When I was in physical therapy they started with the hot, worked it out a little bit and then put cold on it.
June 17th, 2008 at 9:59 am
If the cramp is due to muscle overuse or from a sports injury, apply a cold compress on the area around the cramp but not on it. A warm compress after the swelling has subsided will promote the circulation of blood in the muscles and ease the pain.
June 17th, 2008 at 11:25 am
I would tend to side with whatever feels best for your body. It isn’t something that is going to make or break you, in other words, it is a soothing treatment, and treatments are intended to make you feel better. If you prefer the ice, use it! If the heat soothes you more, then I recommend heat. Either way, limit how long you use them, either for more than 20 mins at a time can cause damage.
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