Ice – Reduces pain, muscle spasm and swelling which all helps to promote repair.
Heat – Increases metabolism and therefore blood supply and induces relaxation. This all produces a sedative effect.
Understanding what to do if you suffer any injury.
When any kind of injury is sustained it is imperative to recognise whether there is an inflammatory response present so any heat, swelling and/or pain.
Or whether there is simply fatigue especially in the muscles.
If inflammation is apparent then use ‘ice’ treatment for a minimum of 48 hours or whilst any inflammation is still present.
A combination of hot/cold contrast treatment can be of benefit at a later stage of recovery, as can heat, once the inflammation has diminished.
Heat can also be useful once all inflammatory responses have diminished and an increase in the range of movement, stretching and relaxation is required.
So, as a general rule use cold treatment followed by either heat treatment or a combination of both once swelling or inflammation has subsided.