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Should I Use ICE or HEAT?

Ice and heat have been seen to be of comfort and substitute as a form of analgesia by altering body temperature in the area. Both Ice and Heat are great but what are the differences?

How does Ice and Heat help?

Ice helps to eliminate inflammation by reducing blood flow to the area of application. Usually heat works best when using it within a 48 hour window after an injury has occurred.

Heat treatment Increases blood flow and works almost as a relaxant to help reduce stiffness in muscles that are suffering within the area. Heat is great for ongoing issues which are chronic and stiffness.

Ice Or Heat?

What Does Ice Help With?

Ice helps in cases of:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Recent Injuries
  • Gout
  • Strains and Sprains
  • Tendinitis, or irritation/inflammation of joints after strenuous activity

When Not To Use Ice?

  • When cramping (cold exacerbates this)
  • Already feeling cold or area is numb
  • Open wound or blistered skin
  • Vascular diseases
  • Sympathetic dysfunction (Where blood flow is affected)
  • Hypersensitivity to cold

What Does Heat Help With?

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Strains and Sprains
  • Tendonitis, or chronic irritation and stiffness in joints
  • Increasing blood flow to stiff muscles or soft tissue before activity
  • Decreasing pain or spasms relating to neck or back pain

When Not To Use Heat?

  • Skin is hot, red or inflamed
  • Dermatitis or an open wound is present
  • Area is numb
  • Peripheral neuropathy or a similar condition that dulls the feeling of heat

Can You Use Ice and Heat Together?

Yes! Heat and ice can be used together to create a change in blood flow by first restricting circulation to reduce swelling by using Ice and then increasing circulation by using Heat on the affected area.

How to use Ice or Heat

The most common method is to apply Ice or Heat for 5 minutes, then off for 5 minutes, repeated 3 times in total should be 30 minutes including the breaks!

*Note: If you are suffering from severe aches and pains, shooting pains down the arms, difficulty deep breathing, troubles lifting limbs due to soreness, headachesmigraines sciatica, low back pain or joint pain and need more than just a good Ice or Heat protocol our team of practitioners are always happy to help and bookings are available online 7 days a week!