Should I Use Ice or Heat on My Injury?

Icing and heating an injured area are two different, yet effective ways to treat an injury. They both work hand in hand when it comes to recovering from an injury. Icing and heating not only helps with recovery but it also helps to prevent any future injuries.

When to Use Ice

Icing an injury is best done as soon as possible and typically takes place immediately after the injury occurs. There are many ways to ice an injury but the most common way is to use a cold compress or ice pack. You can do this by using ice in a cloth or towel or even using a sealed pack of frozen vegetables. These methods can decrease inflammation and numb pain in the affected area. Icing is effective at reducing pain and swelling because the cold constricts blood vessels and decreases circulation to the area.

When to Use Heat

Heat treatment on the other hand, should never be done immediately after an injury. Heat is more commonly used during the recovery process. Applying heat to the injury immediately after it happens may cause further damage.

Heating an injured muscle increases blood flow and metabolic activity which relieves pain by loosening the muscle tissue. Applying heat to an injured area in the recovery process relaxes stiffness and relieves pain in aching joints, such as those affected by arthritis.

When it comes to preventing a future injury, regularly heating before a practice, workout or game can also help with avoiding stiffness as warm-ups transition into performance. This will also loosen up the muscles to avoid injury and pain after an intense session.

If you feel as if neither heat or ice are helping you with your current injury, then it is best to book an appointment with the Williams & Locke team. We offer the following treatments that can help with an injury: