Ice or Heat?

Ice and heat are easy, natural, affordable ways to relieve pain. Do you ever wonder which one is better for you to use to relieve pain?

Why Cool?  Ice constricts blood vessels, which numbs pain and relieves inflammation.

Why Heat?  Heat increases blood flow, which relieves tight muscles and relieves aching joints.

Ice and heat are easy, natural, affordable ways to relieve pain. Contrast therapy, also known as “hot/cold therapy”, is a form of treatment where you ice an area, followed by heat, and end by cooling with ice. This procedure is repeated several times, alternating hot and cold, ending with cold.

Why finish with cold?  You should usually finish a contrast session with cold, particularly if you suspect that you might be a little inflammed. Never finish with heat if you are concerned about aggravating inflammation. You might choose to finish with heat if your priority is to have a more relaxating experience.

How to create your own ice pack.  Add 1 part rubbing alcohol to 3 parts water; put in ziplock bag; and freeze. It gets really cold, but never hardens up.

Massage therapists do not diagnose medical conditions nor is this information intended to replace medical counsel. It is always advised to consult your physician first when you are seeking pain relief as there are many conditions with similar symptoms and some of them are life threatening and require medical attention.


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Ice vs. Heat - What's better for your pain?

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