Hot therapy which is also known as thermotherapy is the use of heat in therapy. While cold therapy is the immediate first aid particularly used in sports injuries. Hot therapy is performed to get rid of pain by using various techniques such as hot cloth, whirlpool baths, heating pad, ultrasound, and hot water bottle. On the other hand, cold therapy commonly known as cryotherapy is performed by applying an ice or gel pack. Both the therapies are no addictive and non-invasive pain relief therapies for muscles and joint pain.
Heat can supply two types of warmth, dry and a moist one. The moist one penetrates well, while dry heat may dry the skin. However, the common purpose of both the types is to improve the flexibility of tendons and ligaments, reduce muscle spasms and alleviate pain. Instead of applying directly on skin, in hot therapy it is advised to use thin towel to wrap the hot devices. Cold therapy is usually used for 24 to 48 hours after an injury. Typically used to get relief from bruises, bumps, sprains that may occur in sports or lifting, cold therapy should not be used on injured areas more than 20 minutes. Just like hot therapy, cold therapy should also be performed by wrapping up the ice packs in thin towel.
Joint pain can be cured by both hot and cold therapy. Lower back muscle strain which generally result from strain and over-exertion can be cured with hot therapy. Blood vessels are opened due to heat that increases blood flow, oxygen supply and nutrients. It also reduces pain in joints and relax sore muscles, ligaments and tendons. Providing superficial heat to the body improves flexibility of tendons and ligaments, reduce muscle, spams and ease pain. Cold therapy is not only beneficial for reducing pains but the therapy is also useful in reducing swelling. Intermittent compression acts as a pump for the limbs. The ‘on’ and ‘off’ effect allows blood flow to return to the heart much quicker and therefore oxygenate, returning to the injury site with oxygen to aid the healing process.
Rise in spinal cord injuries is proving beneficial to the sales of hot and cold therapies packs. Besides, consumers these days giving preference to the non-surgical pain management options which is creating robust development in hot and cold therapy market worldwide. Herbal hot and cold therapy packs are witnessing strong demand globally. Popularity of cold water therapy to burn fats increasing the sale of cold therapy packs. Increasing elderly population which is vulnerable to pain and injury is driving the growth of hot and cold therapy market globally.
North America region represents the largest market of hot and cold therapy worldwide, followed by Europe. Economic growth, increased standard of living, rising awareness about public and personal healthcare and rising aging population in Asia Pacific regions also fuelling the demand for hot and cold therapy packs. The shift towards home-based healthcare in North America and Europe regions is also creating lucrative market for hot and cold therapy packs.
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Growth in chronic and restricting illness is prime driver which will dominate hot and cold therapy market in future. Increasing number of neurological injuries and sports injuries will also create an attractive market for hot and cold therapy packs. Development in manufacturing technologies and online vending will also facilitate the growth of this market. The future growth of hot and cold therapy market will be determined by the need for safer pain management modalities as against pharmaceuticals.