PT CORNER - by Lyne Ezenwa P.T.
Heat versus Ice
True or false? When in pain ice is a better option to help control your pain.
Not necessary! The old adage is if it is an acute pain, which is a recent pain or injury, ice is the first choice. If the pain or injury has been present for more than 48 hours heat is the modality of choice. In my experience I recommend to my patients to try both and see which seems to control their pain better. As a general rule, extreme cold or heat to the perineum may aggravate the pain. Also, the application of heat or ice should not hurt. And be careful when using heat or cold, if you know you have decreased sensation in the perineum area, extreme heat or cold can burn your skin, so always use a protective barrier between the heat and cold pack.
Make your own heating pack by placing uncooked rice in a clean sock and close. Place it in the micro-wave for about 30 seconds, and then apply the sock over your underwear or pants to your perineum for 15 to 20 minutes. It fits perfectly. Heat may be useful to relax your pelvic floor muscles such as prior to intercourse or if achiness is present.
Make your own cold pack using a small bag of frozen peas that you wrap in a towel. Then apply the cold pack over your underwear or pants, to your perineum for 10 minutes at a time. You may repeat many times a day. Ice may be helpful when irritation is present, such as after intercourse.
Do your own test, and decide what works best for you!
Lyne Ezenwa P.T.
The Pelvic Health and Physical Therapy Center
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