When Do I Use Ice Or Heat

October 28, 2012


There is often many questions about which therapy should one should use after an injury, ice or heat? Directly after an injury ice should be applied on a frequent schedule to the area to control inflammation. Dealing with the inflammation as early as possible will speed the healing process. Cold therapy is uncomfortable and often misunderstood, therefore leading to inconsistent results and causing reduced effectiveness. One should expect to feel CBAN, cold, burning, ache, then numbness. Ice should never be placed directly on the skiing, but with a thin barrier such as a paper towel. Depending on the thickness of the tissue being treated the time can be 10 to 20 minutes for proper treatment. Heat is to be used 72 hours or after the injury, or in chronic situations, to increase blood flow, encourage removal of edema, increasing collagen elasticity, and increasing joint mobility. Heat also requires a thin barrier to prevent burning. If you ice and stop inflammation early, you wont have to struggle with it later.

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