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Heat Or Ice For Injuries? What Is Best For Your Injury?

Info Relinque - Thursday, November 17, 2011

Is Heat or Ice Best For Your Injury? 

Find out whether it is best to use heat or ice after injuries. 

Ice and heat packs are among the most commonly used treatments the osteopaths and massage therapists prescribe at our clinic in Melbourne. They are extremely simple to use, and can be very effective. The right choice can not only decrease your pain, but shorten your length of recovery. So which one is right for your injury

Ice Treatment For Injuries.

Acute injuries:
Ice treatment is mainly used at our clinic in Melbourne for the treatment of acute injuries. Acute injuries are those that have occurred within the last 48 hours. The injury is generally tender to touch, and there may also be swelling. In these cases, ice packs will help minimise the amount of swelling around your injury. It is important to ice your injury as early and often as possible to control your pain.

Chronic injuries: 
We regularly prescribe Ice treatment for chronic Injuries as well. Overuse injuries, repetitive strain injuries, and other forms of inflammatory conditions can respond very well to Ice treatment. In these cases applying ice after activity or aggravation can be very effective in controlling the amount of inflammation, and pain.

Post Treatment: 
Ice treatment can also be very effective in the management of your pain after any osteopathic or massage treatment. It can help settle post treatment soreness, and limit any inflammation that may have occurred.
We generally recommend you ice the injury as early and as often as possible. 

Here is the guideline we use at our clinic in Melbourne for ice treatment.

1)Apply Ice for 10 -15 min
2)Place Ice pack back in the freezer for 10-20 min
3)Apply Ice for 10-15 min
4)2 hour break from Ice
Repeat steps 1, 2, 3 & 4

Please remember to never apply ice directly to the skin(wrap it in a towel), and do not use the ice for more than 20 minutes at a time.

Heat Treatment For Injuries
Heat treatment is generally prescribed for the treatment of chronic muscle and joint pain. It can help relax and loosen tissues by stimulating blood flow to the area. It is the stiff, aching, nagging muscle and joint problems that we commonly see at our clinic that are ideal for heat therapy. Chronic muscle spasm may also responds well to this sort of therapy.

We recommend not to use heat treatment after activity, or an injury. It may worsen your symptoms and increase recovery time. When using heat treatment, be very careful to use a moderate heat for short periods of time.

Moist heat is best. Applying a hot wet towel for 15 - 20 min is a very effective way to improve circulation . Other options you might like to consider include wheat bags and various specialised heating pads form the chemist.

If you have any questions regarding heat or ice treatment for injuries please contact one of the osteopaths at Relinque osteopathy in Melbourne.

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