Check out this article from my colleague Dr. Ginette St. Pierre
Presented by a Mississauga Chiropractor
Ice or Heat….Doctor, what do I do ?
Patients ask me this questions all the time.
People LOVE heat. It feels good, softens tissues, brings blood into the area and provides a soothing sensation.
Ice, on the other hand, patients say: I HATE cold… It’s cold, hardens tissues, and is anything BUT soothing.
Despite the tendency to go with what feels better, the choice of Ice versus Heat therapy should actually depend on the timing of the injury. With a new/acute injury, nothing but ice should be used. Beyond this the opinions are somewhat in debate, but most up-to-date practitioners believe that for the first one to two weeks after a new injury, “Ice is King”.
Anytime you have pain, assume there is SOME swelling (inflammation), pain and damaged tissues.
How often? 15-20 min every hour. One application will do the trick, you must be consistent. The typical sensation you will feel is first cold, burning, aching then numb.
Ice packs are better than ice in a baggie. Ice packs are not quite as cold as raw ice, and they stay cold only for about twenty minutes, which is the appropriate length of time. Do NOT place an ice pack directly on the skin. Have a towel or a T-shirt between the ice and your skin.
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