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When to Use Ice, When to Use Heat

Ice Therapy

Story at-a-glance -

  • Cold therapy works well after a sudden injury, while heat helps to soothe ongoing muscle aches and pains
  • Ice works for injuries because it narrows your blood vessels, preventing blood from accumulating in the area, and helping to relieve swelling and inflammation
  • For muscle aches and pains, applying a heat pack will help bring blood flow to the area, which promotes healing and soothes pain

By Dr. Mercola

Applying ice or heat can provide relief from injuries, aches, and pains, but they shouldn't be used interchangeably. Generally speaking, ice works well after a sudden injury while heat helps to soothe ongoing muscle aches and pains.


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