Do I use heat or ice for aches and pains?
This has been a long standing debate amongst health professionals. SO after research and clinical experience here are my recommendations of when to use ICE and when to use HEAT.
Ice: Use within 48 hours of an injury. Ice will constrict the blood vessels and reduce swelling and inflammation. We don’t want to completely halt the inflammatory process because that is the first stage of healing. But the ice will help to manage the process. It also helps to reduce the acute pain.
Heat: I definitely recommend heat more often than ice. Heat is recommended for injuries past that 48 hour mark. Heat dilates the blood vessels to bring more blood flow and nutrients to the injured area. It helps to circulate blood and inflammation to promote healing. Moist heat is best regulated by our body so think rice packs and hot water as opposed to a dry heating pad.
*As always.. Consult your health practitioner first! These are my general recommendations based off my research and clinical experience!*