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Marketplace Physical Therapy: What is better, heat or ice?

A tip from Dr. Steve!

As a physical therapist, one of the most common questions I get asked is “what is better, heat or ice?”

This generally depends upon the stage of healing. In general ice is best when inflammation is involved, such as immediately after an injury. When a joint is swollen ice is also the preferred modality. Apply ice for 12-15 minutes, repeat every few hours if needed. The beauty of ice is that there are no side effects, as many anti-inflammatory medications may have.

Heat is a modality many patients prefer for chronic conditions such as arthritis; conditions that have been an issue for a while. Heat should be used for 20 minutes, no longer. Remember to use a towel between the hot pack and your skin to avoid burns.

These are very general guidelines for use of heat/ice. It’s always best to seek the advice of your PT to determine your best mode of treatment
Tags: health ,fitness ,athletics ,recovery ,running ,sports ,sport injury ,sprained ankle ,physical therapy ,wellness ,healing ,lower back pain

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