Ice or Heat, Which Should Be Used For Injury And Pain

The only way to learn what kind of wounds can be iced is to learn how the body responds to injuries. To know the difference between acute and chronic injuries helps decide when ice or heat should be applied.

Which Kinds of Injuries Do You Use Ice?

Applying ice for acute injury or recent injury is common practice. An acute injury, such as a sprain, causes damage to tissue and inflammation at the wound. Short-term accidents are acute accidents. Any recurrent acute injuries:

· Sprain of the foot

· Muscle or articular sprain

· Sprain of the knee

· Acute pain after intense exercise

· Red, hot or swollen body part

When, for example, you sprain anything like an ankle, you damage blood vessels. Swelling typically happens when blood vessels are damaged. If anything cold is added, or ice or maybe even a bag of frozen veggies, the blood vessels can constrict and decrease swelling.

Tips For Icing an Injury

It is necessary to respond rapidly, as with any injury. The earlier ice is added to minimize inflammation, the quicker the injury can heal. Ice can also be used to eliminate or reduce inflammation during high-intensity exercise.

Hold icing to 20 minutes, since prolonged icing can irritate the skin or affect the tissue. Remember the easy trick? If swelling occurs, use ice, if it doesn't go away, visit the specialist."

On Which Types of Injuries Do You Use Heat?

Heat treatment is typically needed for chronic pain or illnesses. Chronic pain suggests that the body has not completely recovered, and suffering also reoccurs. Such chronic conditions commonly include:

· Muscular distress or pain

· Rigid joints

· Old/recurring injuries

· Arthritis

Heat treatment is the opposite of what cold therapy is doing. In comparison to the potential of cold therapy to limit blood circulation, heat makes our blood vessels widen, and our muscles relax. Heat produces a calming effect.

Tips for Heating an Injury

The heat promotes circulation and increases the elasticity of the tissue and gives relief to the discomfort. Heat treatment should not necessarily be used during exercise. A hot wet towel or heating pad/pack can add heat. A hot bath or shower will also ease discomfort.

Like cold therapy, certain precautions are necessary. Never use heat for a long time and never sleep on with heating therapy. These typical errors can lead to blisters, inflammation, and burns occasionally.


· Ice versus Heat: What’s better for pain & injury? (2017, April 18). Www.PainScience.Com.

· Southern California Orthopedic Institute. (2014, September 23). Scoi.Com.

· When to treat pain with ice vs heat. (2017). Piedmont.Org.


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