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Injury Advice & Management

Should I use heat or ice on my injury?

As a general rule, for an injury or pain that is less than 72 hours old, or for an injury that continues to produce swelling, use ice.

Ice helps to limit the amount of swelling and inflammation that can occur after an injury by narrowing the blood vessels, thereby reducing the blood flow to an area. It can also have an analgesic effect and help to decrease pain.

Ice Application:

Cautions:

Ice or cold packs should never be put directly on the skin due to the risk of skin irritation and ice burns.
Do not use if you have poor sensation or areas of poor circulation
Elderly people, young children and diabetics must be careful with cold treatment. Ask your health care practitioner for advice.
Heat promotes muscle relaxation, stimulates circulation and relieves stiffness and chronic aches. It is best used with long-standing problems or injuries that have no inflammation or swelling.

Muscle soreness and spasms are the most common symptoms treated with heat. Its effectiveness is achieved by increasing tissue temperatures and blood flow, thereby drawing nutrients into the area to assist in the healing process. This treatment can also help with osteoarthritis to increase range of motion and, therefore, decrease pain..

Heat Application:

Cautions:

If you are unsure or would like further advice please contact Bonne Sante Physiotherapy

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