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Man with a hot and cold compress on his knee

Acute vs. chronic, hot vs. cold

Acute vs. chronic

Acute injury

Sudden onset sharp pain due to trauma, usually short-lived. Common signs include pain, redness, swelling and inflammation.

Chronic injury

Develops slowly over time, and although it can come and go, is longer lasting. It is sometimes a result of overuse activities, but can develop if an acute injury does not heal properly.

Hot vs. cold

Heat therapy

Heat therapy is best for chronic pain and injuries without swelling. Heat relaxes tight muscles.

For muscle aches, cramps, arthritis, and tension.

Cold therapy

Cold therapy is best immediately following an acute injury or after activity with chronic injury to reduce swelling and pain.

For sprains and strains, bruises, and headaches.


Explore hot and cold therapy products >

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