04 Apr Treating Injuries With Ice And Heat
Hello all! We want to take the time to share some new information on ice and heat for injuries and inflammation! Okay, it’s not NEW but it’s not information that has been well circulated, and old habits still reign. We’re about to summarise A LOT of content about how to use ice and heat for injuries and inflammation, so chunks will be missing but please feel free to email us at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Bring on the Chills!
Ice slows down the movement of blood and constricts blood vessels, and there’s evidence it has an effect on the process of inflammation. From our point of view this isn’t great for injuries, as the body has the inflammatory response for a reason as it helps heal. So, why would you want to put a barrier in the way of full tissue healing?
Answer – for pain relief! Ice is GREAT for pain relief. It numbs how much you will feel, which is excellent for the short term (72 hours). However, the long term effect is that you’ve SLOWED DOWN the actual healing of the tissue. So in super super short, you have lower pain levels but for a longer time.
Then Warm it Up!
Now literally all you must do is reverse what ice does, unsurprisingly. Heat opens vessels, speeds up blood getting to the area (which means more healing nutrients!) Downside – heat won’t necessarily help with short term pain relief.
Heat is fantastic for muscle healing due to the fact that muscles have so much blood going through them (compared with ligaments, tendons, joints etc).
And now this is the absolute pearl of this blog…
So now that we’ve covered that info on ice and heat for injuries and inflammation… here’s the absolute pearl… compression will increase the speed of acute injury recovery! Whether you heat or cool the area, research shows insufficient evidence for any temperature difference alone… BUT the evidence is very strong for compression around the injury site. The earlier the compression, the better!
NOTE: always seek advice from a medical professional for any acute injury. This advice is of a general nature and should not overtake any medical advice.