How & When To Ice or Heat
How & When To Ice
You Can Cut Your Healing Time in Half By Applying Ice...and Receiving Chiropractic Treatment Immediately After an Injury.
Most patients ask "should I use a ice pack or heating pad after an injury or accident"?
Our most Common answer is "when in doubt...use ice"
Here's why ice (or a frozen bag of peas) should be used immediately after an injury: it will have an immediate pain relieving effect, as well as encouraging quicker healing.
All forms of heat (heating pad, hot tubs, hot baths, hot bottles) will only have a short term effect, usually while the heat is being applied.
Heat usually slow down the healing process by increasing tissue or nerve swelling and should be avoided especially during the early stage of an injury.
Think About this: If you sprained your ankle and you immediately put it in a bucket of hot water...
your ankle would swell like a balloon! The same thing happen when you put a heating pad on your back or neck.
The heat feels great while its on but about an hour later the painful area is swollen big time! So here's what works best for my patients and friends
1. Ice the area of pain for 15 minutes on, and 15 minutes off for 1 hours
2. After the first hour, ice as needed during the next 72 hours
3. Only apply the ice for 15 minutes or less at a time; longer that, your body treats it as frost-bite.
Your brain (thinking there is a frost-bite occurring) sends fluids to the painful area which may result in tissue or nerve swelling.
Remember this: Your body heals best when you are sleeping.
So always apply ice before bed. Many time the ice will numb the area of pain enough for you to get some sleep and allow healing.
Using ice at home along with chiropractic treatment at our office should speed your healing time dramatically! So when in doubt...use ICE.