Ice vs. Heat Therapy

As a general rule of thumb, ice (cryotherapy) is most effective during the first 48 to 72 hours after an injury. This is during the acute and/or inflammatory phase of tissue healing. Let’s take a sprained ankle for example. When a ligament is torn or overly stretched, the area around it becomes swollen, red, painful, and warm. As this is necessary for the healing process, ice can be used to somewhat reduce the effects and allow the patient to be more comfortable.

Typically, after a few days, the body continues to heal in what’s called the repair phase. The primary therapeutic benefit of moist heat in this instance is to relax muscles that are rigid or in spasm. Once again this promotes comfort and pain relief to the patient.

Ice and heat can be effective adjuncts to an appropriate treatment plan. However, they are not a substitute for a complete treatment plan including chiropractic care and therapeutic exercise.

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InLine Chiropractic
1716 Erringer Road #100
Simi Valley, CA 93065
(805) 581-8053