All through our lives, whenever injury has struck, our first reaction has probably been to grab the ice pack. Sometimes though, it’s hard to know whether a heat pack would be more effective, or whether the cool has more healing properties.
Basically, ice treatment is best used for acute injuries. If an injury has begun to swell, you should look to ice it as soon as possible. This will help to curb the swelling around the injury and will likely prevent higher levels of pain. In any case, ensuring that treatment is applied early is critical – reducing the inflammation soon as possible will ensure that there’s minimal long-term damage.
If you suffer from a chronic injury or are prone to hurting yourself in a particular area, icing the area after sport or activity, even when it’s not sore, can actually go a long way in controlling inflammation and preventing future injury.
So when should you use heat?
This sort of treatment is better used to relax and loosen muscles or tissue to promote blood flow. This is generally effective for chronic condition and shouldn’t be used after an acute injury as excess blood flow can promote swelling.
The general rule for icing or heating injuries is such that no treatment should be applied for more than 20 minutes at a time. It should also be done in a 20-minute on, 20-minute off cycle for most effect.
If you have suffered an injury, or perhaps exacerbated an existing condition, it’s important that you seek medical advice as soon as you can. Adelaide Chiropractors are very knowledgeable in treating chronic and acute injuries all over the body. Our chiropractors at Walkerville Chiropractic have seen many patients with sports injuries receive excellent results from their continued chiropractic care. Not only can chiropractic addressing underlying and pressing conditions, it also helps to build up a strong foundation for a strong and healthy body – thereby serving to prevent injuries in the future.
If you have any injury concerns are unsure how to treat ongoing pain during activity, please don’t hesitate to ask the doctor at your next appointment. They can advise the best treatment plans and also provide advice on exercises and plans of action for dealing with any condition.