Ice or Heat?
Last month I posted about R.I.C.E
But what happens when you need to apply heat rather than ice?
Children and young adults are more likely to express the niggles of pain in thier bodies and as adults we shouldn't ignore this call for help. Act fast, contact your Doctor if needed but most importantly know whether to Ice or Heat.
No cold pack or heat pack can repair a sprained ankle or mend a torn tendon, however both warming and chilling a painful area can help minor injuries heal faster.
When To Chill? Ice quickly constricts the blood vessels in your skin and underlying tissues, decreasing blood flow. This helps to slow the swelling and calming down damaged tissues that are inflamed, red and hot. The inflammatory process is a healthy and natural process that also happens to be incredibly painful.
To use cold therapy safely, apply for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or two, all day if possible. We recomend placing a towel in between the ice and your skin to make it more comfortable. Whether you sprained an ankle or pulled a muscle, you’ll reap the most reward from ice’s as an inflammation-fighting tool!
When to Heat?
Heat operates in the opposite way! Opening up blood vessels and increasing blood flow that delivers nutrients that allow cramping muscles to relax. Head paccks fights against chronic pain and stress by taking the edge off the pain of muscle spasms and trigger points. It sooths the nervous system and the mind.
We recomend wheat baised heat bags as they are flexible and wraps around the pain. Place a towel over your skin first to avoid burning. Leave it on no more than 20 minutes, and let your skin cool completely before reapplying. And never go to sleep with a heating pad (or ice pack, for that matter).
Ice and Heat, as good as the methods are - if the pain lasts more than 48hours please see your local Doctor, Physio and or Osteopath for advise.