General Advice: Should I Use Ice or Heat?

Back In Action. Experts in clinical chiropractic & remedial massage; local to Tewkesbury

Ice Bath In Sports Injury ManagementNB: We DO NOT recommend the use of an ice bath as a matter of course; or without a professional consultation.

As a rule of thumb, you should apply an ice pack as soon as possible after an injury; applying it for 10-15 minutes, and repeating after 60-90 minutes. Make sure that the ice pack is dry, and covered in a layer of material. The closer you can stick to this regime the better.

After the 3rd or 4th day, then it becomes a little less clear as to which you should use. Generally after this time, muscles will respond better to heat, whilst joints will respond better to ice. If you’re unsure, try alternating between the two. Apply ice for 10 minutes, then 45 minutes later, heat for 10 minutes; repeating this cycle.


Heat As A Therapeutic AidHow It Works:

Heat: Directly stimulates sensory nerve fibres, altering your perception of pain, by overloading the sensory pathways. Heat also increases the metabolic rate of the tissue, increasing the efficiency of what they’re doing at the time - namely, trying to heal the injury. Heat can also directly increase flexibility of tissue, resulting in relief from muscle spasm, and increased range of motion.

Heat may exacerbate bleeding &/ oedema locally. Possible side-effects include burning if too hot.

Cold: Applied for up to 5 minutes, produces vasoconstriction, which will help to reduce bleeding and oedema in the early stages of healing. If applied for more than 5 minutes (but less than 15 minutes), cold has the opposite effect, improving the local blood flow; but then, by removing the ice, the body's own regulation systems will immediately warm the area, exciting the cells, who can then use the extra blood supply provided.Ice As A Therapeutic Aid

These vascular effects last longer after ice than they do after heat therapy. Ice also has an analgaesic effect through stimulation of the some of the sensory nerves (similar to heat), combined with reducing the conductivity of the pain sensory fibres allowing some pain relief.

If overused (more than 15 minutes per application, or more used frequently than every 60 minutes or so) then the use of cold therapy will slow down the healing process.

Possible side-effects include an ice-burn if used inappropriately (ice-pack not wrapped in dry tea-towel).

Very helpful and co-operative. Details fully explained

Ian B

Thank you to Aidan and Alison for their caring, sensitive, professional and effective treatments for both my husband and I.

Jeannet R

Friendly, very informative and relaxing service.

Sue McK

Whether in an emergency or just needing to relax. “Back In Action” has the right treatment for you. Reasonably priced the pain is not felt in the wallet.

Paul W

Thank you so much! Always worth the effort!

Tony B

Fantastic feeling when treatment is done. Great people

Simon C

Testimonials For Back In Action
Basic Exercises Routine For A Healthy Back      How To Improve your Posture And Ergonomics To Prevent Back Pain      Improved Core Stability Helps Prevent Back Pain      When To Use An Ice Pack; When To Use A Heat Pack      Electrotherapy; TENS, NMES and Ultrasound Explained
Back In Action, Chiropractic and Massage in Tewkesbury    Aidan Barry and Alison Roux, Chiropractor and Massage Therapist in Tewkesbury    Chiropractor / Chiropractic Clinic in Tewkesbury    Clinical Massage, Remedial Massage, Therapeutic Massage in Tewkesbury    Price List and Opening Hours for Chiropractor and Masseuse in Tewkesbury    General Advice from Chiropractor in Tewkesbury    Contact Information for Chiropractor and Massage Therapist in Tewkesbury