Hot or Cold?
I get asked this all the time, should I use ice or heat. Well it depends…..Most people just like heat better but most of the time it is NOT your friend in fact it can make the pain worse. The old standard is not necessarily true which is after 72 hours use heat. However, if an area is irritated or has inflammation you do not want heat because it will irritate it even more. My advice is start with ice to calm your body down, when your body starts responding by decreased pain and increased mobility then and only then do you start heat WITH ice alternating. Until then ice is your friend and may stay your friend well past the 72 hour mark depending on your activity, and injury…….Your body is ALWAYS right , it IS your friend, so listen.
I want to clarify if you use the blue gel then timing is not as important, if you use true ice then timing is very important 10-20 minutes depending on the body part. Also, with heat it must be moist heat NOT a heating pad (dry heat) because it will irritate your body on a cellular level and increase pain. An easy way to do moist heat is take a sock, put rice in it (uncooked) and heat it in the microwave for 2 minutes. Simple and effective…….
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