It’s the age-old problem about sports injuries—”Do I have to apply heat therapy or cold therapy? “I am also shocked by the uncertainty surrounding this question. The solution is to cold therapy almost always. In certain cases, heat therapy may in reality be harmful to tissue healing. I’ll address the correct application of both modalities here to explain specific issues concerning this subject. Check MSK Therapy & Injury Management.
The product of a wound to the tissue is sport injuries. It may be implemented externally by a collision with an attacker or an inanimate object. It may also occur independently of an external source — such as turning your ankle, or bending your knee while changing direction.
Trauma to the tissue causes a inflammatory cycle called inflammation. Your body sends specialized cells and proteins as part of the healing cycle to seal off the wounded region, kill damaged tissue and keep out bacteria. This can become problematic because inflammation, left unchecked, will kill the healthy tissue and create a bigger problem than you started. It is important that you reduce inflammation as soon as possible to avoid this.
Ice treatment, more properly known as cryotherapy, reduces damaged tissue temperature. This helps in reducing discomfort, slowing down muscle metabolism and minimizing muscle spasm. As a consequence — and here’s the key — the inflammatory process is reduced which helps to recover tissue after trauma. The inverse effect of applying heat to the region would be. Its increased blood flow to the region and, in acute injuries, can help speed up the inflammatory process. Therefore, heat is not necessary if there is an acute sport injury with swelling or inflammation present.
Depending on the acuity of the sport injury in question the application of cold therapy care is different. Ice applied shortly after the injury has occurred improves muscle activation and increases the amount of tissue damage caused by inflammation. Later, when the sport injury is in its sub-acute phase, cold therapy’s primary purpose is to alleviate discomfort and help increase tolerance for exercise and movement.
Hopefully by now I have persuaded you for your acute or sub-acute sport injury to use cold therapy. Cold Therapy mode and period are significant. In contrast to rigid ice packs, large, flexible gel ice packs that can cover the joint have superior skin cooling results.