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Use of Heat & Cold to Relieve Repetitive Strain Pain

FAQ - Do I use heat or cold to relieve pain from carpal tunnel syndrome (tendinitis, tennis elbow, other repetitive strain injury)?

Both heat and cold offer therapeutic benefit for relieving the pain associated with repetitive strain injuries. Here are some guidelines to help you choose which will work for you. Try both and see which works the best.

Caution: Be careful with both heat and cold if you have impaired sensation or impaired circulation. Do not use an intense heat on an acute or very swollen area. A mild heat or cold packs may be used effectively.

Hot Packs

Paraffin Dips

Contrast Bath

Cold Packs

Ice Massage

Everyone in the clinic loves these cold packs. They are durable, do not leak, will not puncture, are comfortable, and conform well to bony areas. The Velcro strap is a nice addition to hold them in place when you are on the move. Buy at Amazon.com.

Marji Hajic is an Occupational Therapist and a Certified Hand Therapist practicing in Santa Barbara, California. For more information on hand and upper extremity injuries, prevention and recovery, visit Hand Health Resources.

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