We have all done it, zigged when we should of zagged. Whether that new ache or pain came from a fall or simply just moving the wrong way. Most of us initially will reach for that trusty ice pack or heating pad.You may even have both of these items in your home, but do you know when to best utilize heat and when to use ice? Lets break them down one at a time..
Icing, also known as cryotherapy, restricts blood blow, which reduces swelling and inflammation; making it an ideal treatment for sprains, strains or bruising. Immediately icing these types of injuries helps prevent the injury from becoming stiff, by reducing the amount of fluid within the injured tissue. Cryotherapy is typically used to reduce pain and spasms, tentatively allowing for better movement.
Also know as thermotherapy, opens blood vessels, increasing blood flow, making it the ideal choice for repairing damaged tissues. However, it is not ideal to use heat therapy near open wounds or on fresh injured tissue.
When it comes to both ice and heat it is important to know, even if the injury may favor one over the other, there is other health indicators that may cause the Doc to advise you otherwise.
In the video below, Dr. Steve Harris explains a couple of the scenarios of when to use one or the other:
Heat- Increases swelling and can make the pain worse
Ice- Decreases inflammation, swelling and feels better in the long run
– Use thin cloth between ice and skin and apply for 20 minutes per hour, 6 times a day. If you have acute pain, apply ice before getting treated. This will decrease your inflammation and be easier to work on.
Heat- Increases circulation and won’t create swelling if there’s no underlining fresh spinal damage
When it comes to injuries caused by physical activity, cold and heat are super beneficial, but they’re not long-term solutions.
A healthy musculoskeletal system is critical to overall health and healing, affecting how the entire body functions. It has been shown thatregular chiropractic adjustments can help reduce tension and pain by utilizing the body’s natural healing process.
If you suffer from chronic pain, we are here HELP!
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