Used in the first day after injury to control pain and tissue swelling.
Ice or cold therapy is used to treat many kinds of injuries to different parts of the body. It is the tool generally used in the first moments after an injury up until the end of the first day.
Ice is used as it causes the blood vessels in the area of use to constrict. This constriction reduces the flow of blood while acting as a kind of anesthetic to numb nerves in the area pain. In the first day after an injury cold therapy will help to reduce inflammation in the area of irritation, and will work to control swelling and reduce pain. Ice and Heat can also be used in an alternating pattern to result in a greater tissue flush which can be used to help with healing.
Used to treat muscle discomfort after the first day and until injury resolution to reduce muscle spasm and increase blood flow to help healing.
Heat therapy works by relaxing muscle groups and causing blood vessels in the area of use to dilate or open thus causing an increase in blood flow to the site of the injury to promote healing. Heat is generally applied after the first twenty four hours following an injury and used in the treatment of chronic conditions. It also helps to relax muscles before or after a chiropractic adjustment. Heat increases the ability of muscles to flex and stretch, thereby reducing stiffness.