Injured? Is Ice or Heat the Best Approach?

If you’re an active type, then it’s likely that you’ll get the odd injury as you push your body to some of its varying limits.

Sport and exercise can be great fun, but injuries can really hamper your training. Even if you’re not a particularly sporty type, the odd slip, fall, or even the way you get out of bed can leave you in pain.

Ice and heat are well known for helping injuries, but how do you know what to use and when?

Well… you will when you’ve finished reading this!

  

The easy way to remember how to treat a sore muscle

The easiest way to remember is this:

Sore muscle?

1.     Ice first,

2.     Heat later. 

If you have an injury ice it.

If its muscle soreness then heat it.

Ice is used in the acute phase (beginning) of an injury this should be applied every 2-3 hours for 10-15 mins for 24-48 hours. This helps to reduce pain in swelling in the injured area.

Heat is used for 48 hours plus. Heat can be applied for a longer period of time than ice as it doesn’t have as much of a severe effect as over icing an area. This helps to reduce tension and muscle soreness.

Contrasting ice and heat is a very effective treatment especially on tendonitis. This is where you alternate from ice to heat. For 10-15 minutes put ice on, then for 10-15 mins put heat on. This is done as many times as possible during the week.

There is also evidence that ice baths after intense exercise is beneficial to muscle recovery. Athletes including Andy Murray and Mo Farrah are said to use them, but more research needs to be done to establish whether these are better than a light warm down post-exercise.

Both ice and heat have their benefits and when used correctly can be very efficient. If you have an injury we can help with massage and a suggested exercise programme.

Email us today to find out more.