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Do I use Heat or Ice on my injury?

Pain science is forever evolving and the recommendations around when to heat or ice an injury are no different.

There are pros and cons to both, and equally both have merit with the correct application

Ice is great for pain control, helping acute inflammation in the initial stages of injury management

Heat is awesome at relaxing the muscular component of injury, assisting with pumping blood into the area and generally feels comfortable to do

Acute Injury looks like this:

  • Sharp
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Unable to put weight on joint

Ice during this phase of the injury reduces the metabolic rate of the tissue and helps stop the tissue bleeding which is causing the swelling

Ice is recommended for 15mins on the injured structure every hour to help manage pain and swelling

Chronic Injury looks like this:

  • Tight spasms in muscles
  • Achy
  • Arthritic pains
  • Overuse injury – like tennis elbow 

 

Heat will open blood vessels and draw more blood to the area and help loosen tissue

When in doubt, don’t Google it. Call the practice and ask. It’s a good idea to consult your health care practitioner to help your rehabilitation and prevent the injury from reoccuring

 

 

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