Should I ice or heat my injury
Icing and heating both do similar things, they both stimulate blood flow to the area. When heating the blood is sent to the area to cool it down. That brings more oxygen and nutrients, and removes waste products which help heal the tissue. When icing the blood is sent to warm it up and promote healing.
- Apply the ice as soon as possible following the injury. The effect of icing reduces significantly after about 48 hours.
- Apply the ice directly to the injury. Then move the ice frequently, not allowing it to sit in one spot.
- Elevate the injured body part while icing, this will further help reduce swelling.
- Only ice for 15-20 minutes. You can cause further damage to the tissue, including frostbite, by icing for too long.
- Allow the area to warm for at least 45 minutes or 1 hour before beginning the icing process again.
- Heating pads or hot wet towels are both good methods. Place a towel under hot tap water and then apply to the injured area.
- Apply before participating in activities.
- Heat treatment does not need to be applied for more than 20 minutes at a time.
All content within this article is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. Health Matters is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content of the Health Matters website. Health Matters is not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed. Always consult your own GP if you're in any way concerned about your health.
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