As a general rule of thumb, ice should be used to treat any new injury within the first 72 hours. Ice will help reduce the swelling, decrease muscle spasms and expedite the healing process. Woodbury chiropractor, Dr. Tyler Peterson, says there are numerous ways to apply cold therapy from a frozen vegetable bag to gel packs.
Always use ice with caution and follow these two tips:
- Always apply ice with a towel in between to avoid ice burn. Never apply ice directly to skin.
- 20 on/20 off. Use ice for 20 minutes on and then 20 minutes off. Ice or cryotherapy can be used 8-10 times per day.
Use Heat to encourage healing:
After the initial swelling has subsided heat can be applied to the area to encourage healing. “The application of heat therapy stimulates blood flow to the area, which brings restorative oxygen and nutrients. Additionally, heat can inhibit the transmission of pain signals to your brain and decrease your stiffness”.