Ice vs Heat

As a massage therapist I'm are asked all the time about muscle spasms and pain. With regularity I hear over and over "I used heat on my back, oh I fell asleep on my heating pad" and on and on. I have a question for you, what is that heat doing? How is that helping you? Is that really the best thing to help your specific condition? Okay, that was more like 3 questions, but you get the idea. 

Heat is fantastic and has great ability to help us with muscle spasm, tightness and pain. It is therapeutic but what could ice do for you? It is a rock star when it comes to inflammation and what we need to realize is that in the beginning stage of an injury or flare up of a condition it may be the better choice.

I am not talking about sleeping on ice packs; please don't do that or on your heating pad either for that matter! Too much of anything, even a good thing, is not healthy for us. Our recommendations tend to be 10 minutes of ice at a time. Or if you have a more chronic problem, using heat for 15 minutes then ice for 5 or 10 minutes is a nice balance. You get the benefit of the heat bringing in lots of healing fluids and relaxing the tissue then the ice comes in and flushes it away reducing the fluid (inflammation).  

Got questions? Please ask us we will help whenever we can. As with anything your condition is unique to you and may need modifications.

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