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Compresses consist of two types, namely cold and warm compresses. Each type of compress has different benefits and uses. Therefore, the compress must be used properly in order to work effectively
Using compresses on certain body parts is known to relieve various complaints, such as muscle pain, spasms, back pain, stiff or swollen joints, stiff neck, wrist pain, knee pain, and fever.
Even so, you can't use just any compresses. Different complaints will require different types of compresses.
Types of Compresses and Complaints that Can Be Handled
There are two types of compresses that are commonly used to treat various complaints, namely:
There are two types of warm compresses, namely dry warm compresses and moist warm compresses. Dry warm compresses generally use a heating pad, hot water bottle, or sauna. While moist warm compresses usually use a towel soaked in warm water or take a warm shower.
Warm compresses are used to increase circulation and blood flow. Smooth circulation and blood flow are able to calm and overcome pain in body parts.
In general, this warm compress can overcome several complaints, including:
- Pain, swelling, and stiffness in joints due to arthritis
- Muscle pain or cramps
- Back pain
- Injuries to muscles or joints, such as sprains
- Sinusitis and ARI
Warm compresses by taking a warm bath can also be used to reduce fever because it can cool the body.
Cold compresses are usually used to reduce swelling, pain, and inflammation caused by acute injuries. This type of compress works by reducing blood flow to the affected area of the body, which can help reduce inflammation and swelling.
In addition, cold compresses can also be used to reduce bleeding and reduce fever.
There are various forms of cold compresses that are commonly used, from ice cubes or frozen gel wrapped in a cloth, towels dipped in cold water, to cooling sprays.
How to Use Compress
In addition to knowing what complaints each compress can handle, make sure you also understand the rules for using hot compresses and cold compresses. Here's how to use the right compression:
Rules for using warm compresses
When you want to use a warm compress, make sure the temperature of the compress is not too hot to prevent burns on the skin. The recommended warm compress temperature is around 40oC–45oC.
Put a warm compress directly on the sore body part for 15-20 minutes. However, if the pain is very severe, you can soak in warm water for 30 minutes up to a maximum of 2 hours.
Please note that warm compresses cannot be used to compress parts of the body that are bruised, swollen, or have open wounds.
In addition, people who have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, dermatitis, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), bleeding disorders, and nervous disorders such as multiple sclerosis, are not recommended to use warm compresses.
Rules for using cold compress
If you have a physical injury, such as a bruise or sprain, a cold compress can be used within 48 hours to reduce swelling, bleeding, and muscle spasms.
The recommended time for giving cold compresses is not to exceed 15-20 minutes. Giving this cold compress can be repeated every 2-3 hours. Avoid using cold compresses for too long because it can inhibit blood circulation and interfere with the healing process of the injury.
It should be noted, cold compresses should not be used on stiff muscles or joints and on people who have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
Cold compresses are also not recommended for use by people who have complaints of numbness or tingling due to sensory nerve disorders.
If your complaints do not improve after using warm or cold compresses, you should consult a doctor to get the appropriate treatment.