When using heat or cold therapy it is important to understand safe and effective application to prevent further injury to the patient. To accomplish this, it’s important to first understand how and why these therapies work. Information about how the body conserves and loses heat, physical injury, and healing is an important step in this process. Uses of heat or cold are generally safe and simple techniques but heat or cold therapies may involve more complicated medical issues. One to consider is diabetic patients with decreased blood flow and decreased sensation to extremities. If a patient is unable to detect heat and cold on their skin special care and attention are important. Complications of heat and cold therapy are best considered by a specially trained health clinician who can recommend, prepare special equipment, and who can provide the training for its safe and appropriate use.