Question: Should I Ice Or Heat First?

How can I speed up muscle recovery?

How to treat a pulled muscleRest.

Rest the muscle for a few days or until your doctor gives you the okay.

Ice.

Apply ice to the injury for 20 minutes each hour you’re awake.

Compression.

Wrapping the muscle with an elastic bandage can help bring down swelling.

Elevation.

Medication.

Heat..

How often should you alternate ice and heat?

Do not apply ice for longer than 15 to 20 minutes at a time. And do not fall asleep with the ice on your skin. You may also want to try switching between heat and cold. Use heat for 15 to 20 minutes, then a few hours later use ice for 10 to 15 minutes.

Is heat good for inflammation?

Heat increases blood flow and makes connective tissue more flexible. It temporarily decreases joint stiffness, pain, and muscle spasms. Heat also helps reduce inflammation and the buildup of fluid in tissues (edema).

Why icing is bad?

The problem with using ice as a vasoconstrictor is that, while it limits blood supply and therefore reduces swelling, it also limits arrival of immune cells and thus interferes with core parts of healing.

Should you ice first then heat?

Sometimes a single treatment will even include both. As a general rule of thumb, use ice for acute injuries or pain, along with inflammation and swelling. Use heat for muscle pain or stiffness.

How do you alternate ice and heat?

Alternating Hot and Cold Therapies Most physicians recommend using ice before heat. The ice temporarily shocks the muscles to attention while the heat loosens and relaxes. Pain relief ointments, such as Icy Hot, are found in many pharmacies and use this same concept by cooling the area first before applying heat.

Does heat make inflammation worse?

Heat can make inflammation significantly worse. Ice can aggravate symptoms of tightness and stiffness; it can also just make any pain worse when it’s unwanted. Both ice and heat are pointless or worse when unwanted: icing when you’re already shivering, or heating when you’re already sweating.

What happens if you ice for more than 20 minutes?

Greater than 20 minutes of icing can cause reactive vasodilation, or widening, of the vessels as the body tries to make sure the tissues get the blood supply they need. Studies have also shown 30 to 40 minutes in between icing sessions are needed to counter this reaction.

How can I make my injury heal faster?

Ice – Ice the injured area for 20 to 30 minutes between four and eight times a day to reduce bleeding, swelling, pain and muscle spasms. Compression – Apply compression to the injured area in the initial 48 hours after injury to prevent excessive swelling. Elevation – Elevate the injured limb to reduce swelling.

What happens if you ice too long?

Ice should be applied to an acute injury for 10 minutes at a time. Any longer than this could result in tissue damage to the skin by frostbite or lack of blood flow.

How long after icing should I apply heat?

(See “Options for applying ice.”) Ice may continue to be useful in treatment as long as there is pain, swelling, inflammation, or spasm. There is no need to switch to heat after 48 hours or alternate between ice and heat.

Is heat or cold better for nerve pain?

Nerve Pain It’s best to use cold when the pain is still sharp and move on to heat once that sharpness has subsided. The heat will increase blood flow and help tissues heal faster.