Heat vs. Ice Treatment: What's the Best Option for a Sports Injury?
Getting an injury while playing your favourite sport can be devastating. Not only do you have to stay off the field until you recover, but this can also slow down your progress in physical fitness. That's why you need to find all means possible to get fast relief and get back to the sporting activities.
When most people get injured, the first thing that comes to mind is applying a hot compress or using ice to provide relief to the affected area. However, these treatments should not be used interchangeably. Using the wrong one can worsen your injury and cause severe pain.
Here you will learn some useful tips on how to choose between heat and ice for treating a sports-related injury.
Use ice for damaged tissue
If you suffer an injury that causes inflammation, redness, or a cut or bruise on the skin, ice is the excellent solution. A lot of localised pain usually characterises these injuries, and you need something that can numb the area while you seek treatment. If the part is just swollen with no internal damage, the ice can be enough to provide relief without further treatment.
However, when using it, make sure that you don't apply it for longer than half an hour. Using the ice for an extended period can cause further tissue injury to the area. Note that if you suffer from blood circulation problems, ice may not be an ideal option as it numbs the area.
Use heat for muscle pain
Heat treatment is ideal for relaxing sore and strained muscles. It can be used in the form of heating pads, hot compresses, and hot water bottles. When you apply heat to a part of the body, it releases tension in the muscles and reduces stress in the nervous system. The treatment can be used to relax any muscles, including those on the back, shoulders, hamstrings, and legs. You should never use heat to treat injuries that come with inflammation as it can make them worse. Similarly, ice should not be used for muscle injury as it increases tension and causes more pain and stiffness in the affected tissues.
Consider alternative options
Not sure what kind of injury you have? If so, it is advisable to consult with an expert before using the frozen pack of peas in your freezer. Also, you can consider other options instead of applying the wrong treatment to your body. For example, massage therapy can be a great way of relieving pain from sports injuries and providing quick recovery.
Contact a sports injury expert so that they can walk you through the recovery process and help you get back to your feet after an injury.