Ice versus Heat for Pain Relief – Here’s the deal.
There are many misconceptions about the use of ice versus heat for pain. Even though ice may not be as comfortable as heat, heating can actually make your problems worse when used inappropriately.
Here’s what you should know about icing and how to do it the right way.
Ice causes tissues to contract, slows down circulation and in doing so reduces inflammation (swelling), and numbs the affected area.
Ice should be applied to areas of inflammation and immediately after injury.
Apply an ice pack directly on the spine, in the area of pain or tenderness, or in areas of inflammation.
Always cover the ice pack with a layer of paper towel or thin cloth such as a t-shirt or a pillow-case. This will prevent intense cold and possible frost bite to the skin.
Leave the ice on for 15-20 minutes at a time and no longer, otherwise you will actually increase swelling.
Apply the ice once every hour when in pain or after an injury.
The position is important. Lie flat on the floor with your knees bent and place the ice under the affected region.
If you are sore immediately after your postural exercises only use cold packs, never heat.
NOTE: Moist heat (damp warm towel) may be used only when absolutely no inflammation exists. Moist heat packs can reduce overall stiffness of joints and muscles. However, never use dry heat packs or use heat on a new injury.
If you want to know if chiropractic can help you just call us for a free, no obligation, over the phone consultation on 02 9231 5022.