When to Ice and When to Heat: A Guide
Whether you lead an active lifestyle or your job keeps you trapped in front of a computer screen eight hours a day, your body will likely encounter a number of different strains.
While straining is often a minor inconvenience, a dull ache or burning, repetitive motions can eventually lead to a number of more serious issues.
One of the most common issues is sleep deprivation. The average American today receives around 6.8 hours of sleep, that’s down from an average of eight hours nightly back in 1942. Aches and pains can play a huge role in preventing you from falling to sleep, eating up your already diminished sleep time.
Though there are a number of different techniques to help combat the chronic pain that arises from aches — aromatherapy, neck pillows, microwaveable neck heat wrap — the most common methods are heating and cooling.
But few people know that icing and heating an injury or ache actually serve two separate functions. How do you know which one is right for your case? This guide will help.
When and How to Ice?
Icing works best against recent injury or strain. You should consider icing if you have any symptoms of inflammation: redness, tenderness, and swelling. It works by cooling the blood vessels and slowing down circulation to the damaged area, reducing pain and swelling.
When icing, you should adopt an on-again, off again model. In twenty minute intervals apply the ice to afflicted area, and then remove it for another 20 minutes. You can repeat this method as often as you need.
When and How to Heat?
Heat is best saved for the recovery period, as heating too soon will only allow further damage to possibly occur. That is because heating increases the blood flow and loosens muscles. Heating is also the best weapon against stiff or aching joints and muscles.
One good way to heat is to use a warm wrap or cloth and apply it to afflicted areas. There even exists a wide range of specialty heating pads, such as heated back wraps, shoulder heat wraps, and the aforementioned microwaveable neck heat wrap.
Knowing when to heat and when to ice is a vital part of treating aches sores and injuries. If you are experiencing chronic pain and are looking for heated wraps and pads, visit SunnyBay and see what our Sunshine Pillows and quality neck heat pads can do for you!