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.