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To Ice or to Heat? That is The Question

If you have a pain or you hurt yourself, do you ice it or heat it? Good question for all of you weekend warriors.

Apply ice no longer than 20 minutes:

  • If you've hurt yourself in the last 48 hours (sprained your ankle or hammered your thumb instead of the nail).
  • If the area is swollen - ice will decrease the inflammation around the injury which will help control the pain.
  • After surgery to reduce swelling, bleeding, and bruising.
  • To chronic injuries suffered by athletes, such as overused joints like runner's knees - these areas should be iced after the activity to reduce inflamation.

Apply heat no longer than 20 minutes:

  • If you have chronic pain, such as sore, stiff, nagging joint or muscle pain - the heat brings new blood to the area to help loosen the tissues and help them to relax.
  • To chronic conditions, such as a tight hamstring before you exercise to improve elasticity.

Fit's Tips: Both heat and ice manipulate blood flow. Heat increases circulation which boosts the supply of oxygen to the area which accelerates the removal of waste products. Ice restricts blood flow which reduces inflammation and pain. If the injury hasn't improved or gets worse after 48 hours make an appointment to see your doctor.

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lulita lulita 10 years
if you have a minor burn put some tomato sauce in it... or you scratch the potato and you put it on the damaged side, ooooooor toothpaste also works... If you have a cut LEMON AND SALT! if you fall and have a bruise VICKVAPORUB we use that for aaaaaaaaaaaaaaanything in my country! thats the formula to make it when you are a kid lemon+salt or vickvaporub that thing even cures depression!
scratch5 scratch5 10 years
Mustard!!!???!!! What is the mustard for? I have heard of steak for a black eye, but have no idea what mustard is for.
scratch5 scratch5 10 years
Mustard!!!???!!! What is the mustard for? I have heard of steak for a black eye, but have no idea what mustard is for.
J_Stone J_Stone 10 years
I tend to get minor injuries all the time. When I mean minor, I really mean slight burns or head bumps that dont warrant any sort of healing procedures. But since I a bit of a drama queen, I like to still ice things when I get hurt. Sometimes I even use mustard.
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