Ice or heat?
Ice and heat are natural, easy and affordable go-to ways to relieve pain. When we bump heads, when we have a sore finger, when we burn ourselves.. We tend to head towards ice or heat. It’s easy to get a little confused as to which one is best for what particular injury. That’s why we’ve created this handy little blog post to help assist you in knowing what to head for first. Another little tip to coincide with this list is to treat injuries that are under 6 weeks old with ice and injuries that are over 6 weeks old with heat. Ice constricts blood vessels which in theory numbs the pain, relieves inflammation and limits the bruising. Heat increases the blood flow, relaxes tight muscles and relieves aching joints.
Worn away cartilage in joints. This could be your knee, shoulders, elbow, fingers etc. Moist HEAT will help ease the chronically stiffened joints and helps relax tight muscles.
Gout flare ups:
Chronic inflammatory arthritis. Ie. a big toe, instep ankle, heel, knee, wrist, finger or elbow. The best way to deal with a gout flare up is to grab some ICE. Ice calms flare ups and helps numb the pain.
Pain from nerves or blood vessels in the head or neck. ICE will numb the throbbing of a headache, whereas moist HEAT will relax neck spasms. So try to work out specifically where your headache is based.
Strains and Sprains:
Strains consist of redness, swelling and tenderness whereas a sprain is the stretching or tearing of the ligaments in your joints. To treat both of these use ICE. Ice eases the inflammation and numbs the pain. You could also use HEAT in this situation as it tends to ease the stiffness.
Tendinitis is acute irritation after activity in the tendons attached to joints. ICE will ease the inflammation and also numb the pain. Little tip – If tendinitis is in your fingers/hands from typing or work related injuries then perhaps try soaking your hands in a bowl of cold/icy water.
This is chronic irritation and stiffness in the tendons attached to joints. HEAT will receive the stiffness after the inflammation has been resolved.