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Health Tip: Using Heat Therapy

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Health Tip: Using Heat Therapy

For starters, don't apply just after an injury

(HealthDay News) -- Heat therapy can ease pain and stiffness, muscle tightness and spasms.

The University of Michigan Health System explains the best uses for heat therapy:

  • Use heat to help loosen up stiff muscles and joints and make them more limber.
  • Do not use heat immediately after an injury or if there is swelling. Heat may worsen swelling by increasing blood flow to the area.
  • Apply moist heat, which tends to be more effective than dry heat.
  • Soak a towel in hot water, microwave a damp towel or use a commercial heat pack to provide moist heat. Apply it for about 20 minutes, or as long as your doctor recommends.
  • Soak in a hot tub or whirlpool bath.