Many times after an injury there is confusion over whether ice or heat should be applied to help it heal. Before we get into the specifics let me say this…
“Ice is your friend, heat is sometimes your friend.”
Immediately following any injury ice is always your best bet. It will help reduce the inflammation to a more comfortable level while your body continues to heal. This applies to any injury from a sprained ankle to a pulled muscle in the back. Applying heat may offer temporary relief but it also increases the inflammation and actually makes the injury worse.
After 1-2 weeks of rest, ice and any other interventions being used such as bracing muscle injuries can also be treated with heat provided that ice is applied afterwards. Heating a tissue and then icing will create a pumping of blood in and out of the area that will help the body clear cellular debris from the area healing.
After the 4-6 week healing time heat can safely be applied to tight muscles as can ice. It’s also important to point out that with back injuries receiving chiropractic care is important to ensure the muscles do not heal with the spinal vertebrae out of place. If this occurs the muscle heals while the bone is out of place pinching the nerve. This results in the muscle not fulling healing and making the back more prone to injury in the future.
This is the primary cause of chronically tight back and neck muscles, so called “trouble spots” in the back where problems are re-current and chronic issues like headaches, sciatica and muscle weakness. If any of those sound familiar call us, message us on Facebook or just stop in! Getting your healthy and feeling great is our highest priority!
I hope you found this article valuable and settles how to use ice and heat with injuries.