Heat therapy will usually ease the muscle stiffness after the inflammation resolves. But heat and ice can be used together in an alternating pattern to create a “pumping” action in the circulatory system by restricting circulation to reduce swelling and then increasing circulation to a particular area.
And do not fall asleep with the ice on your skin. You may also want to try switching between heat and cold . Use heat for 15 to 20 minutes, then a few hours later use ice for 10 to 15 minutes.
Fast facts on cold and heat treatment : Cold treatment reduces inflammation by decreasing blood flow. Apply within 48 hours after an injury. Heat treatment promotes blood flow and helps muscles relax. Use for chronic pain. Alternating heat and cold may help reduce exercise-induced muscle pain.
Ice is the recommended treatment for acute injuries. It is especially helpful to reduce swelling and control pain. Ice is most effective when it is applied early and often for the first 48 hours. Heat , on the other hand, increases circulation and raises skin temperature.
“In the ‘ hot ‘ phase, you feel attention and attraction and it can feel intense. Then comes the ‘ cold ‘ phase when they pull away, making you crave their attention and yearn for them,” Zeising explains. As a result, it leaves you feeling rejected, confused, frustrated – or even powerless.
Sometimes a single treatment will even include both. As a general rule of thumb, use ice for acute injuries or pain , along with inflammation and swelling . Use heat for muscle pain or stiffness.
Alternating heat and ice therapy can provide immediate relief of sciatic nerve pain. Ice can help reduce inflammation, while heat encourages blood flow to the painful area (which speeds healing). Heat and ice may also help ease painful muscle spasms that often accompany sciatica .
When you’re first injured, ice is a better choice than heat — especially for about the first three days or so. Ice numbs pain and causes blood vessels to constrict, which helps reduce swelling.
Heat can make inflammation significantly worse . Ice can aggravate symptoms of tightness and stiffness; it can also just make any pain worse when it’s unwanted. Both ice and heat are pointless or worse when unwanted: icing when you’re already shivering, or heating when you’re already sweating.
Nerve Pain It’s best to use cold when the pain is still sharp and move on to heat once that sharpness has subsided. The heat will increase blood flow and help tissues heal faster.
DIRECTIONS Begin the alternating shower protocol towards the end of your shower . Start with a 3 minute soak in hot water. Turn the dial to as cold as you can tolerate, for 30 seconds. Repeat 3-4 times, and end with cold .
When your back pain is acute (less than a 4-week duration) and/or occurs due to a direct injury , use cold therapy first. Lowering the body temperature will help constrict the blood vessels, reduce swelling, decrease inflammation, and cause a numbing effect. Once the inflammation has subsided, use heat therapy.
Neck Pain Tip 2: Apply Cold / Heat People often face the hot / cold conundrum: Which one should you use? Generally, the recommendation is to use ice for the first 24 to 48 hours after an injury to reduce swelling, followed by heat to loosen muscles and improve stiffness.
The safest way to treat an injury and avoid skin damage However, too much cold therapy can also cause an ice burn. It’s possible to get frostbite from an ice pack if you leave it on your injury for too long or put it directly on your skin.
Heat will get your blood moving, which is not only great for circulation (more on that later) but can also help sore or tight muscles to relax . The addition of epsom salts in your warm bath has been proven to help reduce inflammation in your joints caused by arthritis or other muscular diseases.