Sandy Springs Personal Trainers Compare Ice and Heat Therapy

Sandy Springs Personal Trainers Compare Ice and Heat Therapy

Ice packs and hot packs are an affordable and effective way to reduce pain. However, how do you know which one to use? There are specific recommendations for using hot and cold therapy. Here is a break down of each.

Ice Therapy

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What?

– You may use ice, cold packs, cold towels, ice message or ice compress.
How does it work?
– Cooling the surface of the skin causes the blood vessels to constrict, painful area to numb, and relaxes muscle spasms. Colder temperatures reduce nerve transmission of painful symptoms and provide temporary relief. Early use of ice to injured areas has been shown to speed up the healing of soft tissues.

When?

– Ice is should be used to manage acute injuries or recent eruptions of chronic conditions. Make sure to apply the ice to the effected area with a towel in between the pack and the skin. If you do not use a towel you will start to feel numb. Make sure to apply the ice to the affected area for 10 to 12 minutes and no longer than 20 minutes.

Heat Therapy

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What?

– You may use hot packs, moist towels, heating pads, warm water bottles and heat lamps.
How does it work?
– When heat is applied to the affected area of the skin, this enlarges the blood vessels below the surface, relaxing soft tissues and can temporarily relieve painful symptoms.

When?

Heat is recommended when muscles feel tight and stiff and for chronic injuries (> 1 month) that cause pain and stiffness. Do not use heat for acute injuries especially when there is sharp, intense, specific pain.

There are a lot of instances where ice and heat are used in combination to help flush the blood and debris from an injured area. When in doubt use ICE! Try ice therapy next time you have a new pain and use these tips.

The Get Fit Now Team


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