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Ice VS. Heat: What to Use and When

Life is full of bumps and bruises. And if you’ve found yourself injured, there seems to be a lot of differing information online about whether or not you should be using heat or ice to help manage pain and reduce inflammation.

As your partner in health, we wanted to set the record straight.

Here are a few tips for choosing ice or heat.

Headaches: If you have a throbbing headache, instead of reaching for a pain reliever like ibuprofen, try using a cool compress or cold pack at the base of your skull and around your neck. If you’re dealing with a tension headache, a warm compress may help relax tight muscles. Suffer from frequent headaches? Book a visit with us! MOST headaches are actually coming from your neck, and we can help with that.

New Injuries (less than six weeks old): Ice ice baby! Cold helps reduce inflammation and pain, and helps to speed the healing process. That’s because ice may help constrict blood vessels which helps with inflammation and symptoms. Heat increases inflammation.

Chronic Injuries (older than six weeks): Cold is often a great choice. Alternating cold and hot can be helpful in both reducing inflammation and relaxing muscles. Choosing a heating pad for lingering injuries may help promote circulation and relax tight muscles, which can relieve stiff joints and offer relief.

Strains or Sprains: Choose ice to help reduce swelling and inflammation. When inflammation has gone down, you can try using heat to help relieve muscle stiffness.

LLLT (Low Light Laser Therapy)

LLLT for both acute and chronic injuries: Research shows that Low Light Laser Therapy (also referred to as Cold Laser) is effective in healing both acute and chronic pain and injuries. After a comprehensive assessment, our doctor may recommend an LLLT care plan in conjunction with a holistic approach to support your body’s healing process!

Need More Help?

We’re always here for you. If you’re dealing with a new or chronic injury, consider booking a visit with our practice to better understand how natural, gentle chiropractic adjustments help. We’d love to welcome you into the practice!

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