So should I ice it or heat it?" a patient searching for a chiropractor near me asks as they get up from the adjustment table and prepares to walk out of the treatment room at Peak Potential Family Chiropractic in Houston. I'm never sure which one to choose."
Ice and Heat treatment was first introduced in chiropractic treatments in the early 1900s. The ice treatment is said to have been developed by Dr. Charles Townes, a Canadian chiropractor. Dr. Townes was treating a patient with an injured shoulder when he noticed that the shoulder improved after the patient applied ice to it.
Heat treatment, on the other hand, was first used by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, an American physician, in the late 1800s. Dr. Kellogg was treating a patient with a digestive disorder when he noticed that the treatment's heat helped relax the patient's muscles.
When it comes to injuries caused by physical exertion, ice and heat can be helpful, but many individuals are unsure whether to use heat or cold. So let's break everything down and end the misunderstanding once and for all!
When ice is applied, blood arteries constrict and reduce blood flow. When it comes to acute injuries and inflammation, ice is the superior option. Inflammation in the underlying tissues is caused by sprains, strains, and bruising. Therefore grab for the ice in these cases.
If you have poor circulation, ice may not be the best option. It's also important to avoid using ice for too long (15-20 minutes is OK) or too directly, as this might harm the skin, tissue, and nerves.
Chronic injuries are different from acute ones in that they don't respond well to ice. In these cases, heat may be a better option.
Heat, however, dilates blood vessels, resulting in increased blood flow to the area where it is applied. As a result, heat is an excellent treatment for most aches and pains, as increased blood flow accelerates recovery. It's also an excellent technique to ease muscle tension and stiffness, with most individuals experiencing relief after about 15 minutes.
When there is an acute injury or inflammation, it is advisable to avoid heat since it increases blood flow. Common sense also demands that you avoid burning yourself, which happens far more frequently than you might imagine!
Learning about what would be the better form of treatment for you is crucial. Whether it's ice or heat, too much of either can result in further injury. If you're ever unsure, always consult with a medical professional to be on the safe side. Now that you know the difference between when to use heat and when to use ice, put down that heating pad and pick up an ice pack! Your body will thank you.
Injuries that are treated by ice therapy are typically those that involve some form of inflammation. This includes:
Injuries that are treated by heat therapy are typically those that involve some form of stiffness or tension. This includes:
Applying ice and heat as needed to manage pain and injuries is a good alternative, but it's not a long-term solution. Chiropractic therapy enhances your body's natural ability to heal and is an excellent first line of defense after an injury. If you've been injured in an accident, or are dealing with chronic pain, contact our office today to see how we can help!
Peak Potential Family Chiropractic in Champion Forest, TX can help you avoid surgery and future injury by becoming your first line of defense. Regular chiropractic care keeps your neurological and musculoskeletal systems functioning at their best, reducing pain and stress across your body.