Life’s probably handed you your fair share of aches and pains. When the time comes to treat the aches, how do you know what to do? Your high school coach always told you to go ice it. Mom says to put heat on it. This should be a no-brainer, but it’s not so simple. If you make the wrong choice, you’ll only end up feeling more miserable.
So how do you decide which therapy to apply to your injury or muscle soreness? We are breaking things down for you so you will feel confident treating that ouch.
Here’s a good rule of thumb to remember:
• ICE is for fresh injuries
• HEAT is for stiff and aching muscles
ICE – Ice restricts blood flow, reducing swelling and pain. It can limit bruising. Ice works well after an intense workout or minor injury. Use a cold pack or ice in 15 minutes increments with 10-20 minute increments between.
• Ankle, wrist, knee sprain or injury
• Muscle and joint sprain
• Pain after intense exercise
• After an injury, for 24-48 hours
Apply the R.I.C.E. principals after an injury to promote healing: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate
HEAT – Promoting blood flow, circulation and oxygen to the muscles, heat soothes aches. Use on tight muscles or spasms, and aching joints. Use for 15-30 minutes at a time.
• Stiff joints
• Reoccurring injuries
• Muscle pain and soreness