Should I Use Heat or Cold in Louisville

Chiropractic Louisville KY Back Pain

Louisville Chiropractor, Dr. Randall Wheeler owner of Westport Chiropractic and Rehab, answers one of the most frequently asked question.

My patients ask this question more than any other should I use Heat or Cold?

Heat or Cold in Louisville

That depends on a few factors. The first id the type of issue they are having. An acute condition meaning a new issue/injury requires Ice to reduce the swelling. When a injury occurs body releases nineteen chemicals to the injured sight. This where the pain come from, the swelling. Cold should be applied for 20 minute and the affected area should be evaluated if possible. The goal is to constrict the blood vessels at the injury sight. The affect we are looking for is to push the inflammation away. This will help reduce the pain and more importantly slow down the formation of scar tissue to the injured area. The body will try to lay down cologne to the injured tissue to repair damaged tissue. The technical terminology is myo facial adhesions. Myo meaning muscle, facial connective tissue of the body and adhesions the scar tissue formed in the injured area. To help in the reduction of this tissue formation ice is used as well as motion to the injured area. In the first seventy-two hours of an injury Ice should be applied for twenty minutes on and an hour off in between icing. Along with that passive/ light active motion should be to pain tolerance. Motion to the affected area will help in the reduction of scar tissue and help in the removal of inflammation to that area.

After the first seventy-two hours there should be an alternating of ice and heat. The process I recommend is ice for ten minutes directly followed by heat for ten minutes. This should be in a sequence of five Ice, heat, ice, heat, ice. This will cause a constriction/closing and dilating/opening of the blood vessels. This will aid in the healing process. This should be performed for the next 72 hours two to three times a day. Heat can be a heating pad, hot tub, or a shower. As for the ice if you do not have a reusable ice pack a pack of frozen vegetables will do. You can also make one by putting crushed ice in a plastic bag and adda cup of robbing alcohol. This will keep ice from freezing solid and can be reused

Following these treatments heat should be done for stiffness. A hot shower in the morning will help to create blood flow to the affected area. Before bedtime heat should not be used. The joints of the body will naturally hydrate meaning absorb fluid in the joints to help hydrate and carry nutrients to the tissue. You don’t want to create swell in the joint by heating it before bedtime then the body naturally hydrate the area and you have an extremely swollen joint.

So, a rule to follow is if there is pain use ice if there is stiffness use heat and do not use heat before bed.

These are the guidelines that I find works best after twenty years in practice.

Monday8:30am - 12:00pm
2:30pm - 6:00pm
Tuesday8:30am - 12:00pm
2:30pm - 6:00pm
Wednesday8:30am - 12:00pm
2:30pm - 6:00pm
Thursday8:30am - 12:00pm
2:30pm - 6:00pm
Chiropractic Louisville KY Westport Chiropractic and Rehab Logo

Westport Chiropractic and Rehab
4169 Westport Road #107
Louisville, KY 40207
(502) 326-5000

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