Connect With Us: 
Call Now (503) 439-9494
Ice vs Heat Therapy, What Should I Use?

Ice vs Heat Therapy, What Should I Use?

Ice & Heat Therapy 

If you have been involved in a car collision, knowing the rules of heat and ice can prevent a lot of pain and trouble in the long run. But what do you do? There is a lot of confusion out there on what to do when you’ve been injured. Should you ice? Should you heat? How does it all work? As a general rule, ice should be used for acute and fresh injuries while heat or contrast therapy should be used for chronic injuries. An experienced chiropractor can help determine what treatment plan is right for you.

How does it work?

Cold therapy, often referred to as cryotherapy, is the gold standard for acute injuries. Cold therapy works by decreasing the temperature of the skin and muscles. By doing so, this triggers the constriction of the blood vessels which helps to decrease the metabolism of the injured tissue. Tissues with slower metabolisms require less oxygen and will help prevent damage in the long run. Cold therapy also helps to numb the area by soothing the irritated nerve. In the office, we typically advise 20 minutes on, and an hour off to be repeated 2-3 times. Make sure to never apply ice directly to the skin, always place a towel down first. If you suffer from diabetes, cardiovascular disease of Raynauds, always be sure to check with your doctor first before trying cryotherapy.

Heat therapy should only be used for chronic injuries. Chronic pain is typically more dull and achy without the signs of inflammation or recent injury. Here at Walker Road Chiropractic in Beaverton we have found that contrast therapy, switching between heat and ice, is more beneficial than heat alone. Heat therapy increases the temperature of the skin and underlying muscle. It helps to keep the tissue flexible and loose. Adding in contrasting therapy acts as a pumping mechanism, ice flushes out the inflammation while heat relaxes the muscles. For contrast therapy, we advise 5 minutes of ice followed by 5 minutes of heat, repeat this cycle 2-3 times making sure to always end with ice. Just like with ice, there should be a towel between the heat source and the skins surface.

Using Ice and heat correctly can be a safe and inexpensive way to DIY. However, it should be noted that it works best as a supplementary treatment and is not a replacement for care. Following your doctors instructions on whether to heat or ice is the best way to get the most out of your adjustment. If you have any questions, make sure to bring them up at your next appointment.

Get the best advice for your care. Call now to make an appointment with our Beaverton Chiropractors at (503) 439-9494

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Ready to participate more fully in life?

Resolve long-standing discomfort and regain your physical freedom.

Call Today

(503) 439-9494
(503) 645-4404
15220 NW Greenbrier Parkway, Suite 260,
Beaverton, OR. 97006

Click for Map

Contact Us Today!

Call, email, or stop by today. We'd love to see you!

Ready to participate more fully in life? Resolve long-standing discomfort and regain your physical freedom. Scheduling is most effectively done through the phone or email during business hours. Every effort will be made to return your contact as soon as possible.

We bill Auto Insurance (PIP) and Health insurance (Excluding Worker’s Comp and OHP/Medicaid). Give us a call. We’ll gladly make a courtesy check of your insurance benefits.

Participating Provider chiro health

Schedule an Appointment!