Ice or Heat?
This is a question I get all the time when it comes to injuries. So what is it, and why does one person say heat while the other says ice? I will keep this short and sweet.
Plain and simple, Ice on the spine, heat everywhere else. There, end of the blog post. LOL
Let me explain a little. Let’s look at an injury. Bumps, bruises, tendonitis, impact, welt, pulled muscles, torn rotator cuff, bursitis, the list goes on. What happens after these? OMG inflammation!!!!!!! oh no!! Get the ice, ahhhh feels better. Sound familiar? Of course, it does. Ice takes down that nasty inflammation and numbs the area. Now, why is this bad?
Well, it depends on what your goals are. Heal faster or less pain? We know our bodies are self-regulating and self-healing. Inflammation is a good thing. WHAT? Yes! it’s a smart response from the body to heal the area/injury. So why would you want to remove that? By adding heat you will increase the blood flow to the area to accelerate healing, yes you will increase the pain a bit, but it will last a lot less. Next step is to figure out what caused the injury. Always look above or below. A good example is a shoulder. Unless someone hit you with a bat or some sort of trauma, it’s most likely from your neck. LOL yes, the shoulder problem is most likely from your neck. (Another post)
What pain level would you rather have out of 10? Pain at 8-9 for 2 or 3 days, or a pain at 4-5 for 3 or 4 weeks? Whatever your answer depends on what you use. 🙂
Why ice on the spine? Well, the muscles that run along the spine you have no control over. Plus if there tight, there tight for a reason and adding heat will relax them with the possibility of further damaging something. Adding ice to an inflamed nerve root with cause it to shrink. Any interruption in the communication highway is not good and should be looked at by a chiropractor that will adjust any subluxation you may have.
So there you have it. Just to recap, ice slows down healing but feels better. Inflammation is a smart response from the body. Heat will accelerate healing but increase pain a little bit.