Warm and Cold Compresses: How to Make and Use Them
Fevers that are caused by cold viruses or flu viruses can last days, and unfortunately, a fever—especially a high-grade fever (over °F)—can feel quite uncomfortable 6. If you are suffering from a fever and want some relief, here are some tips for how to reduce a fever . A lukewarm bath or compress, however, can be effective at helping the body cool down without overcooling enough to cause shivering. If a bath sounds perfectly awful to the sick person, using cool (not cold) or lukewarm compresses in the areas where the body typically loses heat can work well. These areas include the head, armpits, groin and feet.
Do you or your loved one have a fever? The good news is you probably have nothing to worry about. If you are suffering from a fever and want some relief, here are some tips for how to reduce a fever — at home or with medicine. Activity can raise your body temperature. You need to rest in order to recover and reduce a fever. Getting enough sleep can also help to support the integrity of your immune system, so your body can fight fever-causing viruses like a cold or flu.
Call a doctor if your fever is accompanied by a severe headache, stiff neck, shortness of breath or other unusual signs or symptoms. Having a fever can cause fluid how to add music to 18 wheels of steel and dehydration.
Adequate fluid intake is often advised as part of a treatment plan for fever-inducing infections like the flu. Keeping the room temperature cool and sleeping with only a sheet or light blanket can help keep you cooler.
If your child has a fever, adjust the temperature in the house or bedroom to help keep them cool. Placing a cool, damp washcloth on your forehead and the back of your neck can help your fever symptoms feel better. You might also want to give yourself a sponge bath with cool water, focusing on high-heat areas like your armpits and groin.
Normally, this method, known as tepid sponging, is done for about 5 minutes. Like staying in a cool environment and wearing light clothing, this physical measure for reducing a fever may not be as effective as fever-reducing medications.
A fever is not a pleasant symptom to experience. The chills, shivering, and headaches can become uncomfortable enough that you want relief. Keep over-the-counter medicines on hand with active ingredients that can reduce fever. Acetaminophen, for example is an over-the-counter medication that is approved for use against fever, even in children. Acetaminophen is a commonly used drug for reducing fever that also relieves minor aches and pains.
Many over-the-counter cold and flu medicines treat multiple symptoms, including fever. Make sure to identify what other symptoms you may be experiencing along with fever, if any, so you can get the relief you need. Keep reading for Vicks products that can help reduce fever, along with other common cold and flu symptoms.
Along with acetaminophen to reduce fever, it also relieves chest congestion with an expectorant guaifenesinnasal congestion with a nasal decongestant phenylephrineand cough with a cough suppressant dextromethorphan. Fever and how to make cold compress for fever cold and flu symptoms like sneezingand cough can make it harder to sleep and get the rest you need to fight off a virus.
Some colds come with uncomfortable sinus symptoms—like sinus congestion, pressure, headache, and pain. FluTherapy Daytime comes in a soothing hot drink form, with the powerful ingredients to relieve your cold and flu symptoms while you recover at home. Dissolve the contents of one packet into 8 oz. Make sure to drink the entire medicated hot drink within minutes. FluTherapy Daytime relieves nasal congestion, sore throat, body aches, fever, and cough from a cold or flu.
Like the daytime formula, FluTherapy Nighttime is a medicated hot drink with relief in every sip. It reduces your fever with acetaminophen and relieves other common cold and flu symptoms like runny nose. It is important to recognize that not all fevers are the same. While the U. While fevers can be beneficial because they can help to kill off problematic invading viruses, high fevers can be damaging to our bodiesso monitoring the level of your fever when you have one is important.
It is generally recommended that you see a doctor if you are experiencing any of the following: The fastest and most reliable way to determine if you have a fever and how significant that fever may be is to take your temperature with an easy-to-use at-home thermometer. Determining the severity of your fever can help you delineate what may be causing the fever and help you understand the best course of action to take to restore your health, and when to see your healthcare provider.
Fevers can occur for a variety of reasons but are often the result of a virus like a cold or flu. There are several things you can try to reduce your fever and relieve any other common symptoms. One category of these options is home remedies, such as ones that help to physically cool your body and bring your temperature down based on your external environment.
Another category is over-the-counter medicines that can work by combatting fever-causing mechanisms in your body. It may also be beneficial to combine physical interventions with drugs that can help to break your fever. Regardless of how you choose to address your fever, monitoring your fever is important for obtaining information regarding the underlying cause and severity of your condition. In cases of high or persistent fevers, or fevers accompanied by severe symptoms, you should seek medical attention.
For your other cold or flu symptoms, take a look at some great cold remedies and flu treatments—and get well soon! What you need to know about infectious disease. Accessed June 9, The presence of fever what is a synonym for abruptly adults with influenza and other viral respiratory infections. Epidemiol Infect. Recurrent Fever in Children. Int J Mol Sci. The pathogenesis and the adaptive value of fever.
Postepy Hig Med Dosw. Moltz H. Fever: causes and consequences. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. Accessed June 29, J Exp Med. Front Pediatr. Published Accessed June 11, What is soak off gel polish in children: Overview. Accessed June 15, Physical methods versus drug placebo or no treatment for managing fever in children.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. Purssell E. Physical treatment of fever. Arch Dis Child. Warwick C. Paracetamol and fever management. J R Soc Promot Health. Common Colds: Protect Yourself and Others.
Accessed June 26, Bartfai T, Conti B. Home Remedies for Fever Symptoms. A cool environment. Light clothing. Tepid sponging. Over-the-Counter How to make your lips look fuller that Reduce Fever. FluTherapy Daytime. FluTherapy Nighttime. When to see a doctor. If you have fever or cough symptoms that improve, then get worse.
If your fever is accompanied by a severe muscle pain, mental confusion, or any other out-of-the ordinary symptoms. Was this article helpful? YES NO. The best treatment for you based on your tastes and lifestyle. Causes, Signs, Treatment Read article. Read article.
Put a cool compress on their head and keep their room at a moderate temperature -- not too hot and not too cold. Dress them in one layer of light clothing and offer a light blanket. You can also.
Hot and cold therapies are among the most commonly used non-pharmacological interventions for various inflammatory and pain-related conditions. Hot therapy, or thermotherapy, involves applying a warm compress to the affected site to stimulate blood flow, improve blood circulation, and relax the underlying muscles.
Cold therapy, or cryotherapy, on the other hand, works by reducing blood flow to the affected site and numbing the underlying tissues. Both of these treatments provide quick but temporary pain relief.
Warm compresses can help relieve the pain caused by injured or overused muscles and stiff joints. In fact, this kind of heat therapy is one of the most oft-recommended adjunct treatments by orthopedic doctors for easing back stiffness and muscle spasms that result from chronic injuries.
When you apply the compress to the painful area, the heat penetrates the underlying muscles and increases blood flow to the site. The influx of oxygenated blood brings more nutrients to the affected muscles and joints, helping repair injured tissue and thereby easing your discomfort. A whole range of warm compresses can be used for pain management and they are broadly divided into two categories, moist and dry. Dry warm compresses include rubber-made hot water bottles, heating pads, salt bags, rice bags, and other such hot packs that transfer dry heat to the affected site.
Rice grains are an ideal choice for a hassle-free warm compress at home as they can retain heat for extended periods. This kind of dry, warm compress is particularly helpful in relieving backache. All you need is a cloth bag or a clean cotton sock and a handful of rice. Make sure that the rice you are using is completely devoid of moisture.
Salt is another ingredient that can provide long-lasting warmth when used in a compress. Much like rice, the tiny, coarse salt granules do not give away heat easily after being heated. You can bundle up some salt in a cloth buffer to make a tiny warm compress, which can be used to soothe an earache , a toothache, and stiff and aching muscles. A moist warm compress, such as a clean washcloth, kitchen towel, or gauze, uses damp heat. The warmth travels deeper into the tissues than dry heat at the same temperature.
This form of heat therapy may be a bit messy, but it offers the dual advantage of deeper heat penetration and hydration of the affected site.
The major components of Epsom salt include magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen. Although there are no studies to verify how Epsom salt helps in pain management, it is anecdotally a well-received treatment option for pain relief.
Be careful when using heat therapy to avoid burns and skin damage. Take the following precautions:. Cold therapy is typically used for the treatment of acute injuries that result from sudden or abrupt trauma to the bones, tissues, ligaments, or muscles.
These injuries are usually accompanied by pain, tenderness, redness, warm skin, and swelling in the affected area. Icing the acute injury within 48 hours of its occurrence can help provide instantaneous relief but it is often short-lived.
When you apply an ice pack to the injured area, the cold penetrates the skin and constricts the underlying blood vessels. This, in turn, reduces blood flow to the treatment area, bringing down the swelling and inhibiting nerve activity for a temporary numbing effect.
The loss of sensation in the area means you feel less pain. The pain associated with such chronic injuries tends to be more severe after exercise. The application of cold therapy after a workout may help deter swelling and pain. The effects of cold therapy are largely superficial and are unlikely to penetrate deep enough to reach the joint and muscles.
Here are a few simple ways to make your own cold compress using things you can easily find in your kitchen. Liquid dish soap is a common household ingredient that can be used for making a cold compress. When you freeze this fluid, it acquires a gel-like consistency and remains undissolved for a much longer time than other liquids.
You can freeze a solution of rock salt and water to make a highly malleable cold compress, which can be twisted and wrapped around your wrist or ankle. The saline solution tends to remain frozen for a longer period than plain water. A rice bag can be used for both heat and cold therapy.
Frozen rice granules can hold the cold for relatively long periods, making them an effective material for a cold compress. Note: You do not need to use a cloth buffer in this kind of cold compress, as it is already wrapped in fabric. A chilled spoon serves as the perfect cold compress for the relief of the swelling and pain associated with a black eye. Apply the cold spoon to the bruised areas around the eye. Although heat and cold therapies serve individual purposes in relieving pain and inflammation, there are certain conditions or injuries that are best treated with a combination of both.
Combination therapy essentially involves the alternate application of cold and warm compresses to the site of injury. It is often recommended for back pain but only after a proper medical exam.
Back injuries can be quite serious and can give rise to long-term complications if not treated properly. Therefore, you must get the injury checked by an orthopedic first to determine if combination therapy is the right way to go. Your doctor will outline which therapy will precede the other and the duration of the entire process, depending upon the underlying cause or type of pain. Heat and cold therapies offer individual benefits for alleviating pain and swelling, but they can also work well together.
You have to differentiate between different types of pain in order to determine which therapy works best for your particular case. These pain treatments are relatively safe and simple and are frequently used as immediate therapy for common injuries. Even though a warm or cold compress is a complementary treatment that can only provide temporary pain relief, they can help reduce your reliance on pain medicines, especially if you suffer from a chronic pain-related condition.
Bodywork is defined as any therapeutic or relaxing practice that involves the manual manipulation or regimented movement of body parts. Injuries to the soft tissues, such as tendons, muscles, and ligaments, during physical exercise or even daily activities, are quite Osteoarthritis OA is the most prevalent form of arthritis caused by the gradual degeneration of joints. It is a progressive Osteoarthritis OA is a degenerative disorder that targets every structural component of the joint.
To say that OA causes wear and tear Rheumatoid arthritis RA is a chronic autoimmune disorder characterized by inflammation of the peripheral joints, leading to pain, stiffness, and This site provides content for informational purposes only. The information provided is not intended for use as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
In case of a medical concern or emergency, please consult your healthcare provider. All rights reserved. By Maria Vila , D. Family Physician. In this article:. Eye allergies Swelling Fever Acne Rashes or itchy skin Insect bites Common aches, such as neck pain and toothache Tendonitis or bursitis Gout flare-ups Razor burn Migraine headache Muscle sprains and strains. Mechanisms and efficacy of heat and cold therapies for musculoskeletal injury. Postgraduate medicine.
Published January The effects of a warm whirlpool bath on pain and stiffness of patients with chronic stroke induced knee osteoarthritis. Journal of physical therapy science.
Published July Moist heat or dry heat for delayed onset muscle soreness. Journal of clinical medicine research. Published December Block JE. Cold and compression in the management of musculoskeletal injuries and orthopedic operative procedures: a narrative review. Open access journal of sports medicine. Published July 7, Preferences for heat, cold, or contrast in patients with knee osteoarthritis affect treatment response. Clinical interventions in aging. Published August 9, Was this article helpful?
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