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To Ice or Heat?

So you are feeling some pain and you would like some relief before you are able to consult your physiotherapist or chiropractor. It is known that you can ice an injury or heat an injury, so with two opposite treatments how do you know which one is right for your pain.

Here are very simple guidelines that will help you determine whether you should use heat or cold.

Heat is a relaxant and helps increase muscle elasticity. A key word here is muscle. In general muscle soreness pain is best relieved by using heat. If you have a tension headache or tight shoulders, put a heatpad on your shoulders for relief.

Ice is anti-inflammatory and decreases inflammation in joints. Key word here is joint. A joint is the area of your limb that bends, think: elbow, hip, knuckle. Any joint pain is normally what is iced, so any joint stiffness or acute injury that has swelling you should throw an ice pack on. Remember when icing that there are time limits and you should never have the ice pack on your skin for more than 10 minutes at a time.

Regardless make sure to contact your physiotherapist and chiropractor to schedule a treatment for your injury and pain.

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