Ice or heat for injury, Which one should I use? I’ve had to use ice packs and heating pads many times in my life, and will no doubt use them again; hopefully not too many times. Sooner or later just about all of us will need some pain relief. Whether to use ice or heat for injury or pain can be confusing, so I asked the experts.
“Both heat and cold can help reduce pain. However, it can be confusing to decide which is more appropriate at any given time.
These basic rules may help: Use cold for acute pain or a new swollen/inflamed injury.
Use heat for chronic pain or an injury that is a day or more old.”
Patient Ice and Heat Treatment for Injuries (below) is also an excellent article to read when making a decision on whether to use heat or cold for pain treatment I especially like the precautions the site gives when using these remedies.
Precautions when using heat and ice
Do not use cold packs or heat:
- Over areas of skin that are in poor condition.
- Over areas of skin with poor sensation to heat or cold.
- Over areas of the body with known poor circulation.
- If you have diabetes.
- In the presence of infection.
Be sure to Bookmark this page, come back for the resources above, and the handy infographic below. The Cleveland Clinic published the infographic, and it makes knowing what to use on an injury easy.
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Be careful out there, see you soon!