Using heat rubs has any benefits for athletes. Heat rubs usually use Mentholatum in a non-greasy cream, it is rapidly absorbed into the skin, and produces gentle warmth.
The use of heat rubs can helps stimulate circulation, reduce stiffness, and increase the flow of oxygen to tense, painful muscles.
Its use is popular for a range of conditions including:
- Rheumatic pain
- Muscle stiffness
In addition, because the cream is massaged into the skin, you get all the benefits of massage, including:
- Increases muscle blood flow
- Mobilising soft tissues
- Improving lymphatic drainage
- Breaks down adhesions
- Removes waste products from muscle tissue
All of this makes this a suitable treatment before a game, and also as a follow-up to cold treatment as a part of the treatment of an injury.
In the early stages of the injury, use cold treatment to reduce swelling, but after a couple of days, or whenever when the swelling has subsided, you can begin to alternate this with the cold treatment to speed the flow of blood through the injured area.