Hot - Cold Insructions

Cold - Heat Instructions

Use these instructions for applying cold and heat to relieve pain and speed recovery from injury.


Use cold packs 15-20 minutes to affected area at least 3 times per day.

  • Always use cold at the first onset of pain, stiffness, soreness and after an injury for the first 72 hours unless directed otherwise by Dr. Anderson. Do not use heat during this time.
  • Cold packs can be made by putting crushed ice in a plastic bag. Wrap a damp cloth or towel around the bag and place on your skin. (Do not put ice directly on skin.)
  • Normally when using cold packs, you will go through stages of sensation from cold to burning, to aching, then numbness.

Damp Heat

Use damp heat 15-20 minutes to affected area at least 2 times per day.

  • Do not use a heating pad (even at a low setting) for a long period of time.
  • Do not go to bed with a heating pad.

"Damp Heat" means a shower, bath, damp towel under a hot water bottle, or damp towel under a heating pad (place a plastic sheet between the heating pad and the towel). Use the damp towel + heading pad method only if no swelling is present and wait at least 72 hours after the injury.


Proper Sleeping Position

  • Side sleeping with one or both knees bent. Put a pillow between your knees.
  • Lie on your back with the pillow under your knees.

Never Sleep on Your Stomach

Sleeping on your stomach is bad posture for your back, neck and shoulders.

In Acute Stage of Low Back Pain

  • Change positions often.
  • Don't sit, stand, or bend more than 15-30 minutes without changing positions.

In Acute State of Neck or Upper Back Pain

Don't look down or keep your head in turned position for a long time, especially when you are using your arms out in front of you (such as typing, reading, or working at a counter), without breaking up your work.

If either cold or heat irritates your condition, discontinue using and contact us.