Ouch!! Whether you have sore muscles or a twisted ankle, your body is telling you that something needs a little TLC. But what should you use, an ice pack or warm compress? It can be confusing sometimes whether to use heat or cold. Here are some facts that can help you decide.

When muscles work, chemical byproducts are produced that need to be eliminated. When exercise is very intense, there may not be enough blood flow to eliminate all the chemicals. It is the accumulation of chemicals that cause muscle ache. Because the blood supply helps eliminate these chemicals, use heat to relieve sore muscles after exercise.

A heating pad or warm towel may be useful when muscles are tight because it can help resolve inflammation, lessen joint stiffness, and reduce muscle spasm. It is important to remember to protect any type of heating pad device from coming in direct contact with the skin to avoid burns.

When an injury or inflammation such as tendonitis or bursitis occurs, tissues are damaged. Cold application numbs the affected area, which can ease pain and tenderness. Cold also can reduce bleeding, swelling and inflammation.

A cold compress can be made by dampening a towel with cold water, folding and placing it in a sealable bag, and putting it in the freezer for 15 minutes. An ice pack can be made by putting ice in a sealable bag, filling the bag partially with water, and then sealing the bag and squeezing the air out of it. The bag should be wrapped in a damp towel before being applied to the affected area.

For more information about how to treat common ligament and muscle injuries, take the free, online sprains and strains quiz on the Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake website at

Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake
214 324-6100


One sheep, two sheep, three sheep . . . 50 sheep. If you’re tired of being tired – and counting sheep to get to sleep – now may be the time to take a look at your sleep habits. Poor sleep habits can leave you feeling drowsy during the day and wide awake at night.                                            

A few bedtime no-nos include watching television in bed, drinking alcohol or caffeine before going to bed, eating a big meal late at night, not exercising or exercising right before going to bed, going to sleep or waking up at varying times, spending too much time in bed tossing and turning, and napping late in the day.

Not getting enough sleep can harm your health, contribute to poor school or work performance, and increase the risk of injury. So to avoid these negative outcomes, you will need to substitute better behaviors. That is easier said than done, but if you really want to sleep better, you can. So start by changing one bad sleep habit at a time.

For example, if you like to eat a big meal late at night here are some options: allow at least three hours between eating dinner and going to bed; or try a light snack before bed so you won’t wake up with hunger pangs. Like to watch television in bed to relax? Try reading a book instead. And if you like to have a glass of wine in the evening, opt for a cup of tea in its place.

To learn more about the importance of sleep, take the free, online quiz, What Do You Know About Sleep?, on the Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake website at


Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake
 214 324-6100


Heart disease is not just a man’s problem. Women can – and do – get heart disease. Television personality Barbara Walters had heart valve replacement surgery, Grammy-winning singer Toni Braxton has high blood pressure, and actress Jenni Garth has a leaky heart valve. They are the lucky ones because they know about and are managing their heart problems. Other women could have heart disease and not even know it because some conditions, such as high blood pressure, do not cause any symptoms.

Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake is offering a free, baseline heart screening to help women in the east Dallas area reduce their risk of heart disease by having the information they need, knowing which questions to ask their health care providers, and getting help to make heart-smart changes in their lives.

Women who may benefit from the screening are those who:

  • Do not know about their risk factors for heart disease.
  • Have borderline, high or unknown blood pressure.
  • Are pre-, peri- or post-menopausal.
  • Have borderline, high or unknown cholesterol.
  • Have a family history of heart disease.
  • Smoke or are overweight.

 The screening includes a blood glucose test, blood cholesterol check, blood pressure monitoring, weight evaluation, and personal health assessment.

Date:               Saturday, September 29

Time:              8:00 to 11:00 a.m.

Location:        9440 Poppy Drive (near Garland Road and North Buckner Boulevard)

Reservations are required for the screening. Call 866-764-3627 today to make your appointment.

Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake
214 324-6100