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  • Writer's pictureDr. Thomas A. Harmody

My doctor told me to put heat on it.

My doctor told me to put heat on it.

 

I have this argument with the medical community a lot.  I pulled a muscle, so I broke out the heating pad and put it on it on.  A lot of times my question is, “Is it better?”  Usually, the reply is no.  Then I get the “why.”  Heat is good at reducing muscle spasms but will generally increase inflammation in the area.  If the muscle needs to heal, you don’t want to create more inflammation in that area.  This inflammation brings extra blood and lymphatic fluid to the area which usually increases swelling.  As swelling increases, it tends to damage cells within the area.  This prolongs the recovery time.  You want to reduce swelling which promotes healing of the injured area.   Try to push all the swelling out of the area.  So, when new fluid returns, it can bring new nutrients and supply the injured area with the proper things to heal. 



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