Which is better to relieve my muscle ache? Ice or Heat
Should I use ice or heat for my pain? The typical rule of thumb is that if pain is due to a new injury, ice is the best option. With a new injury, heat can increase the amount of inflammation and cause more discomfort.
If the soreness is due to chronic muscle tension, it’s best to use heat and ice. At Watkins Family Chiropractic we know that many enjoy the feeling of heat on their back and less people prefer to use ice, so we recommend a combination of the two. By performing this alternating combination correctly, you can rarely go wrong:
- Heat for 20 minutes
- Use nothing for 30 minutes
- Ice for 20 minutes
Heat causes muscles and tissue to relax by bringing in more blood flow – which is great for chronic aches and pains. NEVER sleep on a heating pad or use any kind of heat therapy while you sleep. It may feel good, but will ultimately make the condition worse. Therefore, we always end the alternating cycle with ice to be sure the muscles and tissue calm, inflammation is decreased, and pain is relieved.
When feeling these aches and pains, you should make sure to see your chiropractor. Regular adjustments help to relieve muscle tension while ensuring proper spinal alignment. Most medical doctors or emergency rooms may only give you muscle relaxers and pain relievers. Both are helpful at alleviating symptoms, but tend to mask the pain without fixing the problem. Whatever is causing the pain is still there to rear its ugly head weeks, months, or even years down the road.
Dr. Josh of Watkins Family Chiropractic in Savage, MN has a multitude of tips and advice to get you feeling better faster. Call (952)440.4553 today for a free consultation!