Hot and Cold Compresses for Anal Fissure Treatment

By | October 5, 2015
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Hot and cold therapy is one of the most common procedures to alleviate various kinds of pain. These two kinds of compresses are not always interchangeable. Employing the wrong type of compress may result to further injury. Deciding which method to use can be confusing to a person who is looking for a quick but effective way to relieve the pain he is experiencing. It is necessary to first be aware of which type of compress is ideal for a specific pain source.

In most cases, a new injury will result to swelling and inflammation. Cold compresses can help reduce the blood flow to the injury, and as a result, it decreases inflammation and swelling. Heat compresses, on the other hand, help relieve recurring pain resulting from the injury. This type of compress also promotes blood circulation to the affected area which aids in the process of healing.

A hot compress is recommended for pain which is chronic in state. Heat aids in the opening of blood vessels thereby increasing blood flow to the affected area. Increase blood flow promotes oxygen and nutrient supply which help reduce pain. Hot compresses also decrease muscle spasms and can improve range of motion.

Hot compress can provide either dry or moist heat. Moist heat sources are mostly preferred very dry heat sources. Dry heat may dry the skin, while moist heat has better penetration. Hot compress can be applied through an electric or microwavable heating pad, hot water bottle, gel packs, or hot water baths. The compress should not be too hot to avoid further injury to the affected body part. It should only be warm to touch. It is also best to maintain the hot compress at a consistent temperature. Hot compress can be applied as often as needed but only for short periods of time, usually not longer than 20 minutes. It is not advisable to use hot compress if a person has poor circulation or diabetes. Also, remember to not apply heat to an open would or stitches, and if there is swelling, use cold compress first then heat.

Cold compress reduces blood flow to an injury. By that means, it reduces pain and swelling. Cold temperatures slow down circulation, thereby decreasing inflammation, muscle spasm, and pain. Cold compress is ideal for soft-tissue injury, or if the affected body part is swollen or bruised.

A cold compress is applied using ice, refrigerated water, or gel pack. The compress is replaced when it has warmed up to body temperature. Cold therapy should be used for 24 to 48 hours after an injury. It is applied for no longer than 20 minutes at a time, take it out for 10 minutes then reapply.

There are instances that both hot and cold compression is necessary on a single soft-tissue injury. Cold compress should be applied first in order to relieve the swelling. It should be used for the first 72 hours after the injury occurs. After 72 hours, heat compress is then utilized. Heat compresses promote blood flow and aids in the process of proper healing.
Both hot and cold compression therapies are very beneficial to those who are seeking remedy for anal fissures. These therapies help reduce inflammation. Hot and cold sensation promotes relaxation of the nerves that trigger pain signal to the brain.

One of the most common methods employed to apply hot and cold compression therapy to relieve pain and discomfort from anal fissure is through Hip Bath or Sitz Baths. This procedure is utilized for 20 minutes, 2 or 3 times a day. It relieves pain caused by the torn tissue and also aids in the relaxation of the internal anal sphincter.

To perform this procedure, 3 to 4 inches of hot water, about 43 degree Celsius is placed in a large basin or tub. This is where the person involved sits in for 15 to 20 minutes or until the water cools down. You may also use other devices which are specially built to fit into toilet for Sitz bath. Alternating hot bath and ice-cold bath is also preferred by some people. They find it really soothing. They do it by sitting on a hot bath for 3 to 4 minutes and then on an ice-cold bath for 30 to 60 seconds for three to five times. You may also replace a cold bath with a towel soaked in cold water.

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