Hot or Cold: What is better for injuries?

Two of the most popular methods to dealing with pain and an injury is applying ice or heat. But there is usually some confusion as to which one should be used for specific types of injuries. To really benefit from either, you have to first understand what each should be used for.

Ice = Injuries

The swelling of muscles following an injury can be very painful and ice can lower inflammation and damaged tissue. It’s an ideal treatment for those who do not want to use medicine for injury pain.

When using ice for an injury you should never apply it for longer than 20 minutes at a time. It’s also important that you don’t use ice if you have circulation problems, a this can cause further injuries in the future. Applying too much ice can also cause tissue damage, so it’s important to monitor how much you are icing an injury.

Heat = Muscles or Stress

Heat helps focus on certain trigger points. As well as calming the nervous system, heat will also help a person become more calmer overall. A person that is stressed can add a lot to the pain being experienced, which is why heat can help them.

There are a number of different ways to apply heat, including a hot bath to help relax your muscles. Those with an injury can apply heat through a hot water bottle or heating pad.

If you have an injury and are looking for further information about heating and icing our team of kinesiologists can help you! Contact us to find out more about our kinesiology services offered to the Ottawa and Kingston areas.

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