So, what is the best way to apply these treatments? Apply ice to the injury as soon as possible. We’re going to discuss ice and heat, and explain the differences between the two as well as when you should be using each therapy. Pain to the back, neck and large muscle groups like quads, hamstrings and calves will respond well to heat after three days of injury. Heat … Heat is ideally used after an injury has healed and there is residual tightness or protective muscle spasms. There are tight muscles. Heat should not be started for a least 2 weeks after surgery because inflammation levels will be very high as the healing process starts over again. I guess it makes sense that ice would help reduce swelling in an injury. If you do decide to ice a join, injury, or muscle, do so for 20 minutes at a time. With ice off the table, it’s important to discuss what role, if any, for heat. Heat should also not be applied directly after an injury, as it can increase the inflammation response. The condition is chronic. Either alternate cold and hot packs for 10 minutes, or try a contrast bath. After lots of research and talking to different PT’s, I found that the science is changing on the old RICE beliefs as more doctors are looking to ideas of active stretching and using heat…mostly I say find what works for you, but you should understand why more people are now saying to stay away from ice. Local heat has the potential to cause lots of problems. There are cases where some hamstring injuries will … Ideally, ice should be applied for 10-20 minutes every hour for the first 48-hour period following an injury. If you have a serious knee injury, you need to see an orthopedic surgeon to get an opinion. Although the old (40 year old) information said to use ice the first 24 hours and heat after that; this is bad advice. After 72 hours, or after the swelling has gone down from the initial injury, use heat to trigger the healing response. Heat should NEVER be used immediately after an injury. After those first few days, most experts recommend the use of either ice or heat, according to your preference. After sustaining a sudden injury, ice therapy should be used for the first 24 to 72 hours and, after that, individuals can transition to heat therapy in order to increase blood flow to the area. Using Ice Reduces the Swelling from the Knee While Heat Helps Loosen the Tissues and Relax. Until recently, this was the topic of good debate. That simple question on Google currently yields 24 million results. If you're an or weekend warrior, you're probably familiar with using heat and ice for workout injuries. If you have a chronic or reoccurring injury, you can also use heat for pain relief. “Ice is a great choice for the first 72 hours after an injury because it helps reduce swelling, which causes pain. You should not use heat if there are any indications of swelling and inflammation, as heat can worsen these conditions. Knee Pain Has Many Casual Factors like Injuries or Ageing. 5. 2. Generally, ice for 2-5 days after an injury. Use ice for pain in joints such as knees, elbows and shoulders. Count the minutes. Use heat therapy before sleeping and after waking up if you have chronic back pain; Carry a couple of self-activating heat patches and ice packs in your bag or car to use while driving or at work; You are more likely to benefit from heat and cold therapy when … When the injury is no longer inflamed or warm to the touch. Do not apply ice or heat to large areas of the body if only one joint or body part is the focus. For acute injuries, ice the first 24 to 48 hours after the injury. Heat (Deep Tissue Regeneration Therapy) should be used when you suffer from a chronic, tight or stiff knee injury and after you reduce swelling, pain and inflammation with cold. The bottom line is that ice and heat are exceptional, natural, pain relievers and healers for your hamstring injury. Needless to Say, It Can Cause Quite a Discomfort Leading to Immobility and Symptoms like Swelling and Aching Muscles. Heat therapy is best used for injuries that are past the acute stage. I never knew that you should use ice for an acute injury. Now, with our advanced understanding of the effects of ice on injured tissue, it’s at least a little clearer. Then, use heat to loosen muscles and improve stiffness. Don’t apply heat after exercise, advises Dr. Leary. Here are a couple of examples for when to use cold (ice) : Heat, on the other hand, can increase swelling and prevent muscles from healing. You may already know that ice or heat feels better on your leg, and this could influence your decision too. Ice or Heat for Shoulder injury pain. You could apply the ice for up to 10 minutes, remove it for 20 minutes, apply heat and repeat the 10-minute application once or … Once and for all, learn when to ice, when to heat, when not to, and why. Here's how to know which is better for your specific injury. 2. Heat therapy can be used for a longer period of time than ice but is often effective within 15 to 20 minutes. Even if ice is feeling good, that … While researchers continue to look into the best ways to treat an acute injury, most doctors still recommend ice as the first line of defense for a back injury. With a fresh injury, ice is typically helpful to manage inflammation, swelling, and pain. The general recommendation is to use ice for the first 24 to 48 hours after an injury, which will help reduce swelling. Later in the recovery process, heat may be helpful to increase mobility and motion. Whether the pain is caused by an acute injury like a tear or overuse, or it’s the result of too much weight or regular wear and tear, there are a number of structures in the knee joint itself that can be the source of the pain. Heat, on the other hand, helps soothe stiff joints and relax muscles. Keep It Local. 4. When should you use heat or ice therapy? Now regarding treating injuries ice has shown to relieving pain, by numbing the injured area, it is acceptable to cool an injured part for short periods soon after the injury occurs. The concept of using Ice or heat for a broken bone is similar to using either with shoulder pain. Both heat and cold can have beneficial effects such as reducing swelling or relieving pain, but not every kind of injury should be heated and not every pain should have you reaching into your freezer for a bag of frozen peas. Ice treatment should be used for 20 minutes every 2 hours during the inflammatory phase of an injury (first 72 hours following injury or injury aggravation). Ice helps minimize swelling. You’re not alone. The answer is – it depends. However, neither option should be used for more than 10 to 15 minutes at a time.” When to use ice. AFTER PROCEDURES "My doctor told me to put ice on my elbow after a cortisone injection." Should I use ice or heat for an injury? In general, heat therapy is for chronic conditions and ice is useful in acute situations. Heat. 1. Certainly, there are exceptions to these rules of thumb and some injuries may respond more appropriately to a combination of both ice and heat therapy. Instead use ice. As it stands there aren’t too many reasons to use heat … Use a combination of ice and heat about 48 hours after an injury. 3. I recommend heat when: 1. Ice and heat therapy are readily available, affordable and effective for many injuries, which makes them a popular choice when you’re having back and neck pain.. Following the first 24 to 48 hours of an injury, heat can increase blood flow to the injury, which may help promote healing. In a nutshell, ice is for fresh injuries, and heat is for stiff, aching muscles, especially back pain. However, using them incorrectly, or at the wrong time, can actually worsen your condition. Pregnant women should not apply heat directly to the belly, but a heating pad is generally safe, soothing relief from back pain when applied directly to the back only. Ice will help reduce any swelling from a grueling workout routine. Ice following an injury can lessen pain and swelling. After 2-5 days, alternating ice and heat may help decrease the swelling, or sometimes ice alone works best. Swelling and pain is a natural reaction to your body healing itself. However there is a possibility of over-icing if you continue the process after 48 hours. In pain and not sure if you should grab the ice pack or heating pad? My advice is to only use heat for old (chronic) injuries and then use it systemically —- whole body heat in the form of a bath, shower, jacuzzi, etc. Muscles that are too tight are prone to injury. We’ve all heard of “icing” for pain, but sometimes, heat … You should use heat before you do exercise and cold after exercise. The effectiveness of cold therapy is highest immediately after injury and declines significantly after about 48 hours. Doctors suggest treating the inflammation and pain associated with arthritis by using both heat and ice. Keeping the injured part above the heart while icing will help reduce swelling even more. Ice or Heat for Knee Pain Is Often Used in Treating Injury. My husband just pulled his hamstring playing soccer so maybe we should look into getting him an ice wrap to help dull … Heat increases blood flow to an area which brings all of the vital nutrients it needs for injury repair. If you have swelling, heat can and likely will increase the swelling. Dr. Leary recommends the following six steps for applying ice to an injury. People who often exercise should use ice after working out, not heat. Avoid heat therapy in inflammation injuries. Be sure not to apply the ice for more than 20 minutes, or you could be risking frostbite. So, which is it? For chronic injuries, ice when you’ve re-aggravated the injury and are feeling pain. If you're an or weekend warrior, you're probably familiar with using heat and ice for workout injuries. To deal with pain and inflammation, use an ice pack for 20-30 minute intervals every 4-5 hours. As long as there is ongoing active inflammation, as indicated by warmth and swelling of the injured area, ice is the treatment of choice. Heat does have a place in chronic injury and after the acute phase of injury. This is also why stretching before exercise is optimal in order to prevent injury. Immediately after a workout, however, ice should be applied to areas that have been bothered by activity in the past. Here's how to know which is better for your specific injury. This can slow the healing process. Both ice and heat should be part of an overall rehabilitation plan. But the devil is in the details, and there are a lot of them. After a workout, ice is the better choice for a chronic injury. The Overall Therapy. If you recently sustained an injury or aggravated an old injury, ice should be applied for a period of 15mins each time for the first 3 days. The bottom line is that ice and heat are exceptional, ... Warmer temperatures should be used approximately 3 to 5 days after you first have the injury. In most injuries, it takes approximately 24 – 48 hours to sufficiently repair soft tissue damage. When to Use Heat Therapy. Elevate the injury. The type of foot or ankle injury you have will determine which direction you should take.