When To Use Heat Or Ice On Injuries
Like tea or yoga, pain relief comes in more than one temperature. You reach for a bag of frozen peas from the freezer if you twist your ankle. You might even take a clue from your chiropractor and use a heating pad to relax that knot in your right shoulder. But what about when your shins start aching from too many miles on the pavement, or when you pull a muscle picking up the cat litter the free run 2 wrong way?
No cold pack or heated blanket can repair a sprained ankle or mend a torn tendon, but both warming and chilling a painful area can help minor injuries heal faster and temper pain. In part, the link appears psychological, but the mending comes from physiological factors too: reduce the ache and you may move more, increasing healing blood flow to the area. (Discover how counting out loud can make you feel better, plus 10 more Natural Cures For Pain.)
Ice quickly constricts the blood vessels in your skin and underlying tissues, decreasing blood flow, says Jessica Hettler, PT, a physical therapist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. free run 2 All the chemical reactions in the area slow to a crawl, including those that contribute to swelling and inflammation.
To use cold therapy safely, apply a gel pack, bag of crushed ice, or even frozen vegetables for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or two, all day if possible. (Hettler recommends toting a gel pack free run 2 to work.) Place a moist towel or dishcloth in between the ice and your skin to prevent frostbite. And if you go the veggie route, mark the bag so no one cooks it later thawing and re freezing can spoil the food.
Within the first 24 to 48 hours after an injury. Whether you sprained an ankle or pulled a muscle, you’ll reap the most reward from ice’s inflammation fighting properties at this stage, Dr. Ahluwalia says. “Allowing inflammation to run rampant can lead to increased pain, increased swelling, and the loss of strength and mobility,” Hettler says.
Immediately af free run 2 ter a tough workout. If you think you overdid it, icing now can prevent soreness later by slowing the immediate inflammatory response, Hettler says.
On injuries that feel warm when you touch them. This is a sign of active infection or inflammation; heat could worsen your condition at this stage.
While pregnant, especially near your abdominal area. Hot packs in this spot could increase your core temperature and harm your baby. In extreme cases, a high core temperature could even contribute to birth defects so check with your doctor if you have questions
More from Prevention: 6 Ways To Fight Inflammation2The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Read our Medical Advice Notice.