Evidence Based Recovery (Part 2): Compression Garments, Heat, & Cold
Introduction. On our previous post, we reviewed the evidence for massage therapy, foam rolling and stretching on recovery. In this post, we will review the literature that evaluates the effects of compression garments, heat and cold on recovery.
A few studies have tried to compare heat and cold. A 2006 Cochrane review evaluating heat or cold for low back pain generally concluded that the quality of evidence was low for both. They did state that heat wrap therapy provides short-term reduction in acute and subacute back pain and that no conclusions could be drawn about the use of cold for low back pain (French, 2006). More recently, Malanga concluded that there was some clinical evidence that cold therapy is effective for pain relief of acute musculoskeletal injuries, but more high powered, high quality studies are required. They also concluded that heat therapy has better demonstrated therapeutic benefit for both analgesic and promoting healing (Malanga, 2015). They concluded that heat was the modality of choice for acute low back pain and muscle soreness.