Heat & Ice Advice

How To Use Ice or Heat To Help Control Pain

Whilst you continue to feel pain generally, or if you feel pain after treatment or a specific activity, then it is helpful to use ice or heat depending on the nature of the problem. Usually ice is applied to inflamed areas and heat applied to areas in spasm.

Ice: an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas can be wrapped in a tea towel and placed over areas of inflammation. An alternative to using ice for busy people is using a “cold gel” – at Back-in-Action we supply a product called BioFreeze.

Heat: a hot water bottle wrapped in a damp towel, to promote the circulation to tight muscles. Alternatively a product such as Deep Heat or simply can be beneficial.

WARNING: Applying ice or heat for too long can cause skin burns.

How long for?

On thicker areas of the body – for example the lower back – a maximum time of 20 minutes is recommended. On thinner parts of the body such as the arm or leg this is reduced to 5-10 minutes at a time. On the neck the compress can be applied for 5-10 minutes.

An interval of an hour should be left in between applications. If during that hour there is some relief then the application should be repeated regularly throughout the day. If there is no improvement then try the opposite (i.e. ice or heat) and check if there is improvement.

From the Preston Chiropractor Team
Getting You Back in Action & Enjoying Your Life Again
Serving the people of Preston and surrounding areas including Southport and Lytham St Annes