From the Blog

Should You Use Ice or Heat For Injury

One of the most frequently asked questions of doctors, trainers, and coaches is whether you should use ice or heat for injury.

inflamed knee

Many of us remember when we were younger and the RICE method was preached by our coaches and trainers.

R – Rest
I –   Ice
C – Compress
E – Elevate

This was common practice for decades in school gyms, professional sports, and everywhere in between. However, through research studies, we have discovered there is a more efficient and effective way to recover from many injuries. 

Now, we recommend heat, movement, and electrical stimulation instead of using ice or heat as part of RICE.

Note that you should always follow your doctor’s instructions. If you are told, for example, not to jump up and down using your injured ankle, then don’t do it. Be smart.

New Treatment Methodology

Heat helps to dilate blood vessels which enables more oxygen to reach the injured area. Oxygen improves your recovery time. Heat also helps to relax injured muscles and improve flexibility. It is often used in conjunction with electrical stimulation.

Movement is important because it helps drive blood to the muscle, again, aiding in recovery. Unlike with RICE, careful activity is recommended because it also prevents stiffness.

Electrical Stimulation causes non-fatiguing contractions in muscle tissue, which increases blood flow to the injured area. E-stim can often be used to improve range of motion and muscle control even when you can not put a lot of pressure on the injured area like standing would do. This can be done by using a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or TENS unit. 

TENS units have become commonplace, with many people having one in their home. They can be used on most parts of your body, with only a few exceptions: the front or sides of your neck, your mouth or eyes, your temples, on varicose veins, numb areas, or irritated or broken skin, or simultaneously on your chest and back. Be sure to follow the instructions.

To further expedite recovery from injury and exercise, take this daily. It also helps prevent muscle deterioration and assists with  gastrointestinal health.