This is a question I will hear quite often from patients. There are several schools of thought regarding this question. Most will tell you that both have there place when it comes to rehabilitation of the knee or hip for instance.
During my two Knee replacements, I used ice only to combat pain and swelling after exercise and used the ice throughout the day as needed.
I did not use Heat as I did not have a reason to.Heat will be used more for relaxing the muscle or surrounding tissue prior to exercise and /or stretching of the area of the replacement.
Again some in the field will prefer one over the other, I tend to be a proponent of cold therapy overall.
Also there are multiple companies now that combine cold with compression at the same time, they are worth looking into to have at your disposal after knee replacement surgery.
Many orthopedic surgeons also have these available at their office for sale. Look into them they are fabulous when it comes to controlling the swelling and pain after surgery too.
Two companies that I have found that put out quality products when it comes to using modalities for the replacement is:
- Thermophore.com : they make a great moist heating pad for the knee and hip area. Moist heat also does a better job of penetrating the affected area.
- Icedown.com: great ice pack that will completely enclose the knee for instance with a Velcro fastener. This beats putting the peas and carrots or tonight sirloin steak on your knee to cool it down after exercise as I have seen first hand.
There you have it two companies I strongly recommend if you want a good product that will do the job and get the results you want.
I am not an affiliate of either one so I get nothing out of this recommendation other than seeing you use effective equipment before and after your surgery.
If you have to have a joint replaced why not do it right when it comes to rehabilitation. I have worked extensively with both products.
Both these products are worth the money and will last for years.
Richard Haynes PTA
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