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Heat or Ice?

Iceheat1Heat or Ice


It’s something I get asked all the time.  Bad advice on the 2 forms of thermal therapy are given all the time as well.

“I heard to use Ice, but Heat feels better”

The rules come down to TIMING.

If you just got hurt – the general rule is 2-3 days of ICE only.  So… anything NEW – use ICE!  This includes new exercise routines or intense workouts.  Ice really helps to slow down the inflammation process.  It helps keep the Pain Inducing chemicals out of the area.  Keeping them away helps healing happen sooner.

But after the first 2-3 days, the worst of the inflammation process is over.  Now heat starts to aid in recovery by allowing flexibility, more lubrication to the muscles, and helps to reduce pain sensations.


First 2-3 days of Injury

ICE ONLY – leave Ice on until the area is numb and then remove (typically 10-15 minutes).  You can reapply the next hour.  DO THIS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.  Keep Inflammation out!

After 3 days

CONTRAST THERAPY – Alternating between Ice and Heat – Start with Ice and end with Ice.  10-15 minutes per therapy.

Just HEAT?

Use heat for warmup of muscles before activity and for Chronic pain and tightness.

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