Helping People Avoid Spine Surgery

Should I Ice or Heat an Injury?

If you have experienced an injury, such as muscular soreness, swollen or sprained joints, or even back or neck pain, you may be wondering what the best immediate home-remedy treatment is in order to seek out some pain relief until you can make it in to see a doctor. There are two remedies which virtually everybody knows: ice and heat. However, what many people do not know is which remedy is right for your ailment.

When to Use Ice

Getting an injury really cold serves a couple of important functions: it slows or reduces swelling and it numbs pain. The most common time you will want to use ice is when your injury is new. Say you roll your ankle playing a pickup basketball game at the gym; ice will do wonders to help keep your ankle from swelling up and help reduce the pain in the immediate term.

This can also help dramatically reduce the healing time of an injury. Swelling compresses tissue which not only leads to pain but can lead to blood buildup in the affected area. Ice helps prevent the tissue from enflaming itself, as well as slows the blood flow through the area, reducing the chance of a blood buildup and further swelling. However, you want to make sure you never apply cold therapy for more than 20 minutes at a time, as it can lead to other potentially even more serious issues. Perhaps the most important: never use ice on a back injury, as this will only make muscle tension harder to release!

When to Use Heat

Heat is best used when you want to relax an area, such as with injuries that are a day old or more. Because of its relaxing properties, heat is also the best treatment for any type of a back pain. Back injuries frequently lead to pain via muscular tension, and heat can help them ease up and provide you with much needed relief.

When you have general muscle soreness or an injury with age (one that is not at risk for swelling any further), heat can help stimulate blood flow through this area, removing toxins such as lactic acid and encouraging your muscles to move freely, reducing stiffness. Those with chronic injuries may wish to apply heat before exercising, but you don’t want to do it afterward, as you could potentially aggravate your pain.

If you are suffering from pain after an injury, contact the skilled professional Bolingbrook chiropractors at ProMED Pain Rehabilitation Institute. The team at our non-surgical disc and laser center has extensive experience helping those who are suffering from both chronic and acute pain in their back. We specialize in non-surgical spinal pain relief procedures, which can help you get the relief you need without risky and expensive spinal surgery.

To schedule an appointment and benefit from our treatments, call ProMED Pain Rehabilitation Institute today at (630) 426-3270!