A good rule of thumb on when to choose ice or heat:
One of the most asked questions in my office: when to choose ice or heat? Each condition is unique and must be treated according. The following are general comments on ice and heat; some of nature’s tried and true remedies. Apply cold to an acute injury, sudden pain or sharp pain. Cold may help to reduce swelling to a local area, reduce muscle spasms, and soothe muscles and joints after sports or workouts. Heat on the other hand is used mostly to relieve pain and discomfort for chronic conditions. Heat helps to relax tight muscles, comfort cramping, reduce discomfort to dull/achy pains, and soothe arthritic joints. Only apply ice/heat to a region 15-20 minutes on and take a 15-20 minutes break; use as needed. Hope these tips help when choosing between ice and heat. Always consult with your health care provider regarding any treatment of symptoms and injury.
Yours in Health,
Dr. Ida Abraham