injury

Ice or Heat-How to Take Care of Your Injury

Most of us keep an ice pack handy in the freezer should an unexpected injury sneak up on us. It’s an old home remedy that, as it turns out, can do a world of good when it comes to reducing swelling and discomfort. In some cases, heat is your best bet. Other times, alternating between the two is the most effective way to go.

So how do you determine which is best? And when should you head to a doctor? We’re here to settle the debate.

When Icing an Injury is best

Applying cold packs or ice is often an effective go-to home therapy for  injuries that cause pain, swelling and/or inflammation. Think: bumps and bangs that pop up after falling or sustaining a minor impact like stubbing your shin or twisting your ankle. According to Healthline, applying cool temperatures to the injury reduces blood flow, which then brings down swelling. Since swelling typically causes pain, it has an added bonus of easing discomfort.

Cold therapy can be delivered in a number of ways. Sticking a wet towel in the freezer for 15 minutes can get the job done, as can reusable cold packs that are available at most stores. If you’re in a pinch, a bag of frozen vegetables can also do the trick. No matter what you use, Prevention suggests using cold therapy for 15 to 20 minutes every one to two hours. It’s also best to do it within 24 to 48 hours of an injury.

When Heat’s a Better Option

While cold therapy restricts blood flow, heat therapy opens it up. As Reader’s Digest reports, research shows that increasing this flow supports healing by delivering more oxygen and nutrients to the injury site. Heat therapy also ups the temperature of deep tissue, which helps with muscle flexibility. Another worthwhile tidbit is that it appears to ease pain.

Heat therapy is generally considered best for chronic muscle pain or persistent discomfort that comes with ailments like arthritis. You can get things rolling at home with a warm bath or heating pad. Medical News Today suggests applying heat to the area for 20 minutes at a time for up to three times a day.

When to Alternate Between Ice and Heat

Right after an injury, cold is generally considered your best bet since it works almost instantly to reduce swelling and pain. Getting ahead of inflammation is the name of the game when you’re trying to keep pain under control. Once the initial swelling begins to go down, you can alternate heat therapy to increase blood flow to the area and, hopefully, help the body heal.

Every injury is different, so there’s really no one-size-fits-all answer. If pain persists or you aren’t sure how to move forward, meeting with a doctor is always best. Pain Stop North Phoenix has a team of experienced pain management specialists on hand to help you assess your injury and get you on the path to healing as soon as possible.

injury

How to Start Exercising Without Injury

‘Tis the season for New Year’s resolutions. Topping the list year after year is (you guessed it) getting healthy. While a clean-slate perspective can do wonders for your motivation, being too eager will backfire if it leads to injury. Overdoing it in the name of fitness is a recipe for chronic pain—something that’ll surely throw a wrench in your exercise plans.

Read more
car accident injuries

Three Most Common Car Accident Injuries Sustained In Collisions

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that more than three million people are injured every year in car accidents, and the variety of injuries sustained depends on a number of factors. How hard was the impact? Which direction did the collision come from? Were the injured wearing seatbelts? Where were they sitting in the car? Were airbags involved? Common car accident injuries are typically divided into two categories: those caused by the body’s impact to some part of the car, and penetrating injuries, which are cuts, scraps, or worse. These car accident injuries are the most commonly experienced after a collision.

Read more
soft tissue injuries

Pain Delay? Why Soft Tissue Injuries After Car Accidents Aren’t Immediately Obvious

The forces involved in an auto collision can place a tremendous amount of strain on the body, but many car accident injuries aren’t obvious, like a cut or a bruise. Combined with the body’s release of endorphins and stress hormones like adrenaline following such a traumatic event, soft tissue injuries after a car accident might not immediately surface, and your injuries may be far worse than you think. What causes this delay, and what should you do about it?

Read more
accident injury care

Accident Injury Care in North Phoenix

For those in North Phoenix, accident injury care should be prioritized just like it should be anywhere else. It’s important to get examined immediately both so you don’t develop a chronic condition and because you want to make sure you are financially protected. Let’s look at why you should get medical care immediately and three accident injury symptoms that often don’t show up right away.

Read more