Hot Vs Cold Therapy & Compression ft. NatraCure


For full disclosure purposes, I received a Hot/Cold Compression Cuff from Natracure for free in return for an honest review. I am not being paid to talk about or advertise their products. All opinions of the product are my own.

This post is WAY overdue and should have been done a while back! As you would have known if you've been following me for a while,  I got an injury a few months ago which was causing major issues with running and half marathon training. I was getting pain and spasms in my calves which made it very uncomfortable for me to run.

Obviously, rest is the most important when you're injured but I also found that compression and hot and cold therapy have also helped a bunch!
Compression can be used to help limit the swelling to an injured area, provide extra support to the injured area and for some people, also provides some pain relief with regards to an injury.

Compression can also help with muscle soreness too. You will often see runners and athletes wearing compression socks(sometimes during) and particularly after exercise - compression increases blood flow to the area and can help you recover quicker, experience decreased muscle soreness and less fatigue!

Heat and Cold are the two most common types of pain relief therapies that people use to relieve muscle and joint pain. However, people are often confused as to which type of therapy they should use dependent on their pain.

There are different benefits to using both hot and cold therapy, here are some benefits of each:
Heat Therapy Cold Therapy
Opens up blood vessels Slows down blood flow
Increases Blood Flow Reduces Inflammation and swelling
Supplies oxygen and nutrients to reduce pain in joints Relieves pain by numbing area
Relaxes Muscles
In general, it is recommended that cold therapy is used on acute injuries such as sprained ankles, muscle tears, bruises and inflammation within 24-48 hours of the injury occurring. When an injury first occurs, this usually comes with bruising, the area swells and becomes inflamed, cold therapy helps to reduce these symptoms.

Sore and stiff muscles and re-occurring pain is treated better with heat therapy because the heat helps to relax the muscle and can also be used to increase mobility. Heat therapy can help to ease and alleviate muscle soreness after an intense workout.

Of course, there are various products that can be used for heat/cold therapy such as ice/heat packs, plain old ice wrapped in a towel, hot water bottle.


I was kindly given a Hot/Cold Compression Cuff from NatraCure to aid with my recovery from Injury. NatraCure is a company that offers innovative therapies including these hot/cold compression products for people with chronic pain or injuries. There are lots of other products available on their website which are better suited for different parts of the body.

The cuff is aimed to be used on your arm/calf(or any part of your body where you can wrap the cuff around securely) and is similar to a blood pressure cuff at the doctors except this has a heat/cold pack that can be attached with Velcro.
Since I had already had my injury before receiving this product and was not really experiencing any inflammation, I never got the chance to use the cuff with cold compression(though Phillip used the pack cold for his toe after he kicked his bike and broke it!). I used warm compression for my injury as it aided with relaxing the muscles and relieving the pain and muscle spasms that I was experiencing.

The cuff itself was really easy to use. The hot/cold compression pack is attached to the inside of the cuff with velcro. When you're ready to use, you put on the compression cuff(which is also fastened with velcro), turn a valve on the side of the cuff to on and use the pump to get your desired compression, there is a small button on the pump to release some of the air if you need less compression.

The pack can either be put in the freezer for cold compression or can be put into the microwave for 15 seconds on each side for hot/warm compression.

Obviously, Heat/Cold packs applied to areas should not be applied for more than 20 minutes at a time - packs shouldn't be applied directly to the skin either! You should always place a thin towel or piece of material between the skin and the pack.
As I had to continue with my training for the Great North Run, the cuff came in handy for me to use after I'd gotten back from my run to aid with pain relief and spasms. After taking a 6 week break from all running, the issue was still there when I started to run again and Natracure came to the rescue. A few weeks after starting training(slowly, so I didn't do too much too fast), consistent use of my cuff after a run, adequate rest in between runs and wearing compression sleeves - my injury seemed to subside(YAY!).

Now, whenever I feel a niggle in that same area(partly worried the injury will come back) - I can easily whip out the cuff and ease any niggles or spasms that might be going on in my calves - and as I said, it's quite soothing to use to help relax my muscles - especially after a tough long run.

*** Please bear in mind that I am not a GP, this is just knowledge that I have picked up and research that I have done for my own injury. You should always consult a professional for assessment of an injury. ***

Question: Ever had an injury? What was the first thing you did when it happened?

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