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Heat and Cold Therapy

The application of cold is most often used in rehab to decrease inflammation in acute injuries or decrease the inflammation that results after activity.  The most common form this takes is that of a cold pack applied to an affected area for 5-10 minutes at a time.  Hot packs are more often used to warm up tissues prior to stretching, to relax tense, sore muscles or to ease chronic painful situations.  Heat can also be applied through the use of therapeutic ultrasound and using warm water in water therapy.