Most people know that applying an ice pack or a heat pack can
help to ease aches and pains, but there are cases where you can do more harm than good, or when one treatment may be more suitable than the other. How do you know what will work?
Before you head for the freezer or heat up the wheat bag to
ease your aches and pains, ask yourself whether the pain is in your muscles or joints. Is it from an old injury? Does the pain relate to muscular tenderness or tightness?
If muscle tension is causing your pain, then heat
can be effective for soothing stiff joints and relaxing muscles. It can also ease pain related
to older injuries such as sprains and strains.
However, if you have a new sprain, acute
pain, damaged skin or cancerous tumours, then heat is not a suitable option as applying heat can increase inflammation.
In the case of a new injury, ice can reduce
any swelling or bleeding, and relieve pain. You may also find benefit in using ice for back pain, arthritis, and migraines.
If you’re not sure whether to reach for the bag of
frozen peas or the wheat bag, then don’t worry. Have a chat with your chiropractor and find out which option is best to help alleviate your particular condition or injury.