Find a clinic

ICE OR HEAT?

2016/07/06 Home Education and advice

ICE OR HEAT?

Steps must be taken to control an injury from the moment inflammation sets in. The signs of inflammation are: localized heat, localized redness, swelling and pain. Although it is a natural physiological response, if inflammation is not properly controlled, healing can be delayed. The inflammatory phase lasts approximately 72 hours.

Applying ice or heat does not eliminate inflammation, but rather controls unpleasant symptoms and prevent them from persisting over time. Inflammation is a major component of the healing process as it destroys damaged tissues and promotes reconstruction by creating new cells.

WHAT TO APPLY AND WHEN?

  • Apply ice in the first 72 hours.
  • Use the contrast bath technique until the inflammation subsides.
  • Heat should only be applied after the inflammatory phase.

WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF THESE TECHNIQUES?

ICEHEATCONTRAST BATHS

Applied for 10-15 minutes every 2-3 hours

  • Reduces pain
  • Reduces blood flow to the area
  • Reduces cellular activity
  • Relaxes muscles by reducing muscle spasms
  • Calms inflammation

Applied for 15-20 minutes every 2-3 hours

  • Reduces pain
  • Increases cellular activity
  • Increases blood flow, thereby facilitating the repair of damaged tissue
  • Increases tissue pliability

Applied for 5-10 minutes every 2-3 hours; 30 sec in hot water, 30 sec in cold water(if tolerated) and always finish with cold water

  • Reduces pain
  • Increases cellular activity
  • Increases blood flow, thereby facilitating the repair of damaged tissue
  • Increases tissue pliability
  • Calms inflammation