Ice or Heat? How to Decide

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Ice or Heat? How to Decide

Should You Use Hot or Cold Therapy?

Tweak something while cleaning up the yard? Strain something in your workout? You may find yourself reaching for the hot pad, or the ice pad, or both! Many of us have trouble deciding which one to turn to when we hurt ourselves. Often, we just use the “guess and check” method, trying both and seeing which one brings more comfort. Well, let’s finally put an end to it with some education. At the end of this article, you will know the time to lead the world with fire or with ice.

Ice, Ice, Baby

Because cold restricts, try to use ice for injuries and inflammation to reduce the puffiness and ease the pain. Bleeding beneath the skin, as in bruising, sprains, or strains call for ice treatment. Under the umbrella of ice treatment, there is two methods for ice therapy: immediate or rehabilitation. Immediate treatment lowers the amount of tissue fluid buildup, and effectively reduces stiffness. Rehabilitation therapy, on the other hand, reduces pain and spasms to reduce pain and renew usual functions.

With that being said, ice therapy isn’t for everyone. If you already have bad circulation, cold will only restrict your vessels further. People with cardiovascular concerns need to talk with their doctor before using this anti-inflammation method.

Canned Heat in My Heels

Contrary to the effects of cold, heat effectively opens up blood vessels, causing a relaxing, soothing feeling that brings blood flow to the concerned areas. For this reason, heat is ideal for most fixes, and it’s especially great for regenerating damaged tissues because it sparks new healing. Stiff aches or tensions can usually be healed with only about 15 minutes of heat therapy a day!

Woman using relaxing hot therapy

Be careful practicing heat therapy, though; obviously, it can burn! Make sure you keep an even warmth to the affected areas. Also, think about it: if you already have swelling or bruising, heat is not the right choice. It will only bring more blood to the area and increase swelling and discomfort. And again, always ask your doctor whether this is the right treatment for you.

The Best Treatment

Physical injuries caused by activity may feel better with some cold or heat therapy, but they will not fix long-term problems. For that, you need overall musculoskeletal health, which in turn affects your healing processes and normal body functions. Turning to chiropractic adjustments may be the treatment you’re looking for that will let you take full advantage of the potential your body has to feel great. Chiropractic should be at the frontline for preventative care, and it will decrease your need for surgery or more injuries. Stop by for a consultation today!

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