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Posts for tag: cold

By Skokie Foot & Ankle Specialists, Ltd.
February 02, 2015
Category: Injury
Tags: injury   ice   cold   heat  

This is a common question from patients trying to recover from an injury. 

Ice vs HeatIce packs constrict blood vessels to reduce bleeding and swelling. Cold also reduces the nerve responses of pain. Use cold for acute pain or a new injury.

Heat packs allow muscles to relax and reduces stiffness in joints.  Heat also opens blood vessels to hasten healing. Use heat for chronic pain or to loosen up before exercise.

Whether using cold or heat, avoid extreme temperatures by protecting your skin from direct contact and limit exposure (no more than 20 minutes at a time).

Only use cold or heat therapy if you’re certain it’s appropriate for you. They should not be used over an open wound or area with decreased sensation. Elderly, immune-compromised, and those with circulatory problems should check with their physician first.

For more guidance on a specific injury, you can reach our office by calling (847) 675-3400.  Let Dr. Miller evaluate your pain and find a treatment plan that will work for you.


By Dr. Steven Miller
November 09, 2014
Category: Education
Tags: winter   cold   toes   Raynaud  

Raynaud toesAs the temperature drops and winter approaches, just the phrase "polar vortex" can make a person shiver. However, those with Raynaud's phenomenon have to be especially careful.

Named after French physician Maurice Raynaud (1834–1881), this condition is believed to be the result of vasospasms that decrease blood supply to the extremities in response to cold or emotional stress.

Toes and fingers change color (pale or blue) during a spasm and can be painful.  Nails may also develop longitudinal ridges.  Often the underlying cause is not known.

The following tips may help individuals with Raynaud's phenomenon stay comfortable during the upcoming winter:
  ◦  wear leggings and use activated heat packs (handwarmers)
  ◦  keep moving when in cold temperatures
  ◦  recognize and adapt to stressful situations
  ◦  avoid smoking and vasoconstrictive medication (including some blood pressure medication and over-the-counter cold remedies)

If you need additional guidance, schedule an appointment at Skokie Foot & Ankle Specialists by calling (847) 675-3400 or by clicking