Hot or Cold for Injuries? How to Know Which is Best for You

Hot or Cold for Injuries? How to Know Which is Best for You

We all know that treating an injury immediately after it happens can help minimize the pain and damage as well as facilitate recovery. But after rolling your ankle in a soccer game, or hurting your back when lifting your toddler, or tweaking your knee when stepping out of your car, what's best? Should you ice it to try to control inflammation, or would heat be better to promote circulation?

While it's difficult to establish a fail-safe rule for when to apply ice or heat, the general directive is to use ice for the first forty-eight to seventy-two hours after an acute injury and then switch to heat.

It Depends The reality is that many conditions are not necessarily the result of a specific injury. I call these conditions "recurrent acute" and find them by far the most common: sciatica that occurs when you drive a car; a back that flares up every time you garden; or tennis elbow from intense computer work. In these cases, consistent and frequent applications of ice may prove very helpful over long periods of time, particularly immediately after experiencing the event that causes problems.

Conversely, back or other muscle spasms caused by overexertion rather than injury may benefit greatly from heat immediately upon the onset of symptoms or immediately after exercise in order to relax the muscles and increase circulation. Also, muscle belly pain not resulting from acute and serious trauma generally responds well to heat, which can break the spasms and release the strain. On the other hand, nerve and tendon pain--regardless of the duration of symptoms, even if you've been experiencing them for months--benefit from ice.

What Works for You The bottom line: different individuals will constitutionally vary greatly in their reactions. Some people are more prone to the types of inflammation exacerbated by heat, while others find their bodies contracting and tightening at the mere mention of ice. Try each option and pay close attention to how your body and mind respond, and let your gut be your guide. Ultimately, what works best for you is, well, what's best for you.

Michelle Bryant is the owner of the San Juan Capistrano-based Massage Associates. To connect with her, visit 31952 Camino Capistrano (in the Mercado Village), call (949) 489-7924 or visit www.themassageassociates.com.

Michelle Bryant

Michelle Bryant is the owner of the San Juan Capistrano-based Massage Associates. To connect with her, visit 31952 Camino (in the Mercado Village), call (949) 489-7924 or visit www.themassageassociates.com

Latest News

In-Home Care and the New! Senior Social Club & Stay Care Center in Laguna Woods Village

Home Life Jody Robinson

In-Home Care and the New! Senior Social Club & Stay Care Center in Laguna Woods Village

Compassionate Caregiving: Your Home Care, Inc. Over the past decade, there have been an increasing number of s...

South Coast Repertory presents SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE

Entertainment Sorbet Mag

South Coast Repertory presents SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE

Based on the screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard adapted for the stage by Lee Hall Music by Paddy ...

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “The King and I” Comes to Segerstrom Center for the Arts at The Ritz-C…

Entertainment Sorbet Mag

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s  “The King and I”  Comes to Segerstrom Center for the Arts at The Ritz-Carlton

February 27 – March 11, 2018 Segerstrom Hall T he national tour of the Lincoln Center Theater Production of Ro...

Pets of the Month

Home Life Jody Robinson

Pets of the Month

Nine month old Martin is a sweet and friendly rabbit who is ready for his next big adventure.  This curi...

Cirque du Soleil comes to Costa Mesa with its breathtaking and heart-warming production LUZIA

Entertainment Sorbet Mag

Cirque du Soleil  comes to Costa Mesa  with its breathtaking and heart-warming production LUZIA

Performances: February 21 - March 25, 2018 under the white-and-gold Big Top at the OC Fair & Event Center ...

MAKING YOUR MEMORIES WITH ROCK & ROLL AND DOO WOP. THE MUSIC AND ARTISTS OF THE 1950’S AND EARLY…

Entertainment Joe D

MAKING YOUR MEMORIES WITH ROCK & ROLL AND DOO WOP. THE MUSIC AND ARTISTS OF THE 1950’S AND EARLY 60’S. The Magic of  One  Word

How can one word bring back such memories? Sometimes it was just a first name of a person, and with other songs...

Pilates and Yoga for a Health Heart

Health & Wellness Align Pilates Team

Pilates and Yoga for a Health Heart

February is national Heart Health Awareness month and at Align we are excited to participate. According to the ...

EARN 11% WITH AMERICAN MORTGAGE FUND !

Finance Sorbet Mag

EARN  11%  WITH  AMERICAN MORTGAGE  FUND !

When you think about a company having ‘investment experience,’ what image does that conjure up? Stodgy bankers ...

More Weekend, Less Worry Carneros Resort and Spa

Travel Jody Robinson

More Weekend, Less Worry  Carneros  Resort and Spa

If you like wine, you’re my kind of person. If you like wine and you’ve seen the 2008 flick Bottle Shock, we’re...

Thinking Inside the MedBox. The New Standard in Medication Management Offers a Better Way to Dispens…

Health & Wellness Jody Robinson

Thinking Inside the MedBox. The New Standard in Medication Management Offers a Better Way to Dispense Prescriptions

In a recent conversation with my mother, I discovered something. Something that was a cause for pause as I pond...

The Law Firm of Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie: Bringing Justice Home

Business Showcase Sorbet Mag

The Law Firm  of Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie: Bringing Justice Home

My sister was hit by a snowboarder when she was sixteen. On skis, just a couple of turns from the bottom of the...

Platinum Pacific. Your Retirement Community Leader in Quality Remodels

Business Showcase Jody Robinson

Platinum  Pacific. Your Retirement Community Leader  in Quality Remodels

There has been a surge in popularity over the past decade in the field of home renovation. At first, it was sim...

Spotlight on: Wig-Wag Dog Grooming

Business Showcase Sorbet Mag

Spotlight on:  Wig-Wag  Dog Grooming

It’s no surprise why Wig-Wag Dog Grooming is a favorite of San Juan Capistrano residents. Is it because groomer...

Water in the Garden. Quality Care and Stellar Customer Service Characterize this Full-Service Koi Po…

Business Showcase Jody Robinson

Water in the Garden. Quality Care and Stellar Customer Service Characterize this Full-Service Koi Pond Maintenance Company

When we moved into our home three years ago, the property came with a very pretty pond stocked with colorful ko...

Finding Good Food Fast at Tokyo Joe’s

Dining Out Sorbet Mag

Finding Good Food Fast at Tokyo Joe’s

The term “fast-casual” was apparently coined by Paul Barron in the late 1990’s. The creator of FastCasual.com...

Making Guests Their “SpecialTea,” the Tea House on Los Rios celebrates its 20th Anniversary

Business Showcase Jody Robinson

Making Guests Their “SpecialTea,” the Tea House on Los Rios celebrates its  20th Anniversary

Perfectly situated between the hustle of Los Angeles and the bustle of San Diego, the historic Los Rios Distric...

Capital Bank welcomes Donald Solsby as Senior Vice President and Orange County Regional Commerci…

Finance Sorbet Mag

Capital Bank welcomes  Donald  Solsby  as Senior Vice President  and Orange County Regional Commercial Banking Manager

Capital Bank, a division of Seacoast Commerce Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Seacoast Commerce Banc Holding...

Segerstrom Center for the Arts Welcomes Back Award-Winning Singer and Actress Kristin Chenoweth

Entertainment Sorbet Mag

Segerstrom Center for the Arts Welcomes Back Award-Winning Singer and Actress  Kristin Chenoweth

February 3, 2018 in Segerstrom Hall Segerstrom Center for the Arts welcomes Tony Award® and Emmy-winning perfo...

Segerstrom Center for the Arts Presents Center Debut of Ebène Quartet

Entertainment Sorbet Mag

Segerstrom Center for the Arts Presents Center Debut of Ebène Quartet

Sunday, March 4, 2018 in Samueli Theater Segerstrom Center for the Arts welcomes the Center debut performance ...

Sun Soaked California History in Old Town San Diego

Travel Jody Robinson

Sun Soaked California History in Old Town San Diego

At elementary schools all over California, fourth graders have been making missions from craft supplies for yea...

Prev Next