When someone get injured, it’s common for people to look for and grab at any possible solution to help alleviate the pain. Depending on the type of injury, some people may go straight for medicine while others will go for heat or ice packs.
There’s a time and place for most pain relief solutions, but one solution may not be ideal in certain circumstances. When it comes to heating or icing injuries, which is best?
Using Ice on Injuries
When you get a recent or acute injury, ice is going to be your go-to solution. Using ice on recent injuries (within the last 2 days) will help with the swelling that commonly follows an injury. In addition to reducing the amount of swelling on a recent injury, ice can also help to reduce bleeding, muscle spasms, and overall pain.
Generally, it’s recommended to treat the injury early and often with an ice pack, but not for more than 30 minutes per application. You should never apply ice directly to the skin, so make sure you have a thin towel or something similar to wrap around an ice pack. An easy way to make a quick ice pack is with a bag of frozen peas or by putting ice cubes in a wet towel.
Using Heat on Injuries
When you’ve gotten a new injury, using heat packs is generally not recommended. While using heat does have certain applications, new injuries are not the time to use ice packs. Heat is great for relaxing and loosening tissues to help stimulate blood flow, but it won’t help a new injury to heal and it won’t minimize pain.
Heat can be used prior to an activity to loosen muscles and relax tension, but it shouldn’t be used after activity or for other acute/new injuries. When using heat on a recent injury, you run the risk of increasing or worsening the swelling, bleeding, and/or pain of the injury by drawing more blood to the injured area.
Use Ice Early and Regularly
With all types of injuries, recovery takes time and consistency to get well. When you get an injury, you’ll want to ice it as quickly as possible and make a regular habit of icing it periodically throughout the day until both swelling and pain have subsided to manageable levels.
Some Injuries Require More Than Just Icing It
Icing an injury goes a long way in reducing pain and swelling, but in some cases the injury may require additional attention. For example, in an automobile accident, you may experience one injury that can be treated with ice packs, but then you may also have to deal with other internal issues, such as headaches or neck pain. Charlotte chiropractor Dr. Grant Lisetor at Greater Life Chiropractic can help with deep-rooted issues within the body that are causing pain after an injury. In many cases, it takes a careful chiropractic adjustment to relieve nerve interference and help with recovery of any and all injuries or ailments.
Contact Greater Life Chiropractic today or book an appointment with Dr. Grant Lisetor to find relief from your recent injury and to learn about effective ways to manage pain of recent, chronic, or old injuries. Many injuries and most pain you’re experiencing can be helped with an expert Charlotte chiropractor like Dr. Grant. Let us know what kind of pain or injuries you have and we’ll let you know how our team at Greater Life Chiropractic can help.