Can I Ice Acute And Chronic Injuries Sioux City
Ice is a great home treatment for both acute and chronic injuries. Applying ice for 15 to 20 minutes has a physiological effect on the body, decreasing pain, muscle spasms, and inflammation in all injuries. Repeating this process several times throughout the day enhances that benefit.
Ice is very important for acute injuries. Think of the basketball player who sprains his ankle. If he applies ice quickly to the ankle, he will have mild or moderate swelling the next day. The ankle will still be tender to the touch and have ligament damage, but it will not have an excessive amount of inflammation.
However, if that same basketball player was to go home and do nothing, he would wake up to find a very swollen ankle. Likewise, if he was to go home and place heat on the injury, he would have more swelling than had he done nothing.
Heat is used to increase blood flow and nutrients to enhance healing. We usually do not want to do this for 48 – 72 hours after an acute incident. Applying heat too early increases the inflammatory process and encourages excessive fluid accumulation. The excessive fluid actually slows healing and increases pain and discomfort. However, ice has the opposite effect, and intensifies the healing process during this period.
We can also ice chronic injuries. With chronic injuries, ice is effective in decreasing the pain and muscle spasms. It has less of an effect on decreasing inflammation. Overworking a chronic injury does produce mild amounts of inflammatory molecules that ice helps to control. Still, In the clinic, people with chronic injuries report more relief from icing than heating.
Ice and heat therapy can also be used in combination. The usual process is to Ice the painful area for 15 minutes, and then apply heat for 15 minutes. This process can be repeated several times. Some people recommend ending with ice. Overall, ice is a very effective home treatment that can be used for both acute and chronic injuries.