Ice and Heat Therapy

A chiropractor is a medical professional that many people turn to when they are looking for therapeutic, drug-free ways to manage symptoms such as pain and inflammation. Whether you’re dealing with an injury or a chronic health problem, a chiropractor can help you get your symptoms under control, often through simple but effective options such as ice or heat. But when should you use ice and when should you use heat? This is a common question!

When to Ice

If you are dealing with inflammation or an injury, your chiropractor will most likely recommend ice therapy. The cold from the ice can help to reduce swelling and inflammation by restricting blood flow. This can also help ease any pain and discomfort you may be experiencing due to your injury.

It’s important that you don’t apply ice directly to the skin (always make sure to wrap it in a towel first), and to only apply it to an area for no more than 20 minutes at a time. If you have an injury, your chiropractor may recommend icing the area several times a day for at least the first 48 hours after injury.

When Ice Might Not Be Right

If you have poor circulation or if you have cardiovascular disease, ice therapy may not be right for you. It’s important that you talk with your chiropractor first to decide whether ice is the best approach for easing your symptoms.

When to Heat

Heat can provide many patients with a soothing and relaxing experience as the warmth improves blood flow. That’s why heat therapy is great if you are dealing with soreness, or aches and pains. Since heat can stimulate healing, it can be a great way to treat damaged tissue, as well as ease stiffness and tension. Like ice, you only need to do this for about 15-20 minutes at a time to provide relief.

When Heat Might Not Be Right

If you are dealing with any bruising or swelling, ice is typically a better approach than heat, as heat can often increase swelling. If you have an open wound, do not apply heat directly to the area. Those individuals living with high blood pressure should also talk with their chiropractors about whether heat therapy is right for them.

If you have questions about ice or heat therapy and how your chiropractor can help, then call today to learn more or to schedule a comprehensive evaluation with the team.

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Sports & Spinal Wellness Center


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