Treating injuries: Use cold or use heat?

Written by Arron

A patent recently came into the clinic with an injured low back. His left side was sprained, inflamed, and it was painful and difficult for him to move around.

Having been to his GP, he was advised by the doctor to put some heat on his injury. We suggested he do the opposite. Put some cold on it.

So which one is the right approach for your injury? Ice or heat? and why?


Heat on sprains and injuries

  • If you put a heat pack on your sprained muscle or spine, you will probably feel comforted in the beginning, but it ultimately gets more inflamed.
  • The GP approach often involves heat paired with painkillers. This has the purpose of reducing your perception of symptoms without addressing the root cause.

The reason we suggest putting something cold on a sprain is it reduces this inflammation which allows you to get moving. At Belmont Chiropractic we’re more concerned about proper functioning rather than temporary relief.

Ice on sprains and injuries

  • Put some ice on your injury, but don’t go any longer than 10 minutes.
  • Aim for 10 minutes every hour and try to keep moving.

Always remember that heat can make inflammation worse.

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