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Dr. Joe's Tips - ICE vs. HEAT & Why!

Apr 15, 2012

Dr. Joe's - ICE vs. HEAT & Why!!

Clearing up the most common Sports Injury question.

#1 - Any new (Acute) injury, or re-aggravation of an old (Chronic) injury, always ICE for the first 72hrs!! 


   *ICE = 10-20min, every 2hrs!! Ice Packs (place thin cloth between ice & skin) or Cold Water Immersion (12 degrees celsius or as cold as your tap can go)


   *ICE helps to decrease blood flow (vasoconstriction) to area of injury & moderate the inflammatory process, which decreases swelling & cell damage/death, leading to decreased pain & faster recovery!!


#2 - Beyond 72hrs post-injury/re-aggravation, and only when all existing swelling is gone, HEAT can be used to loosen & relax chronic injuries involving muscular soreness or spasm. 

   *HEAT = 15-20min of Moderate Heat (place thin cloth between heat & skin)

   *NEVER Heat an acute injury, especially muscle strains or bruises (contusions), as this will increase inflammation & bleeding!!

#3 - When in doubt, ICE!!

Dr. Joe's biggest pet-peeve & resulting favorite rule:

"Post-Intense Exercise...HOT TUBS ARE THE DEVIL!!"

   *As good as you think it feels to hot tub after a marathon or workout, the heat is intensely magnifying the micro-muscle damage you have endured, inevitably you will be 'buckled' the next day with muscle soreness!!

Dr. Joe Foglia  B.HK, D.C., C.S.C.S., ART®
Island Optimal Health & Performance
103-1808 Bowen Road
Nanaimo, BC   V9S 5W4


Please add a comment

Posted by admin on
One of my massage clients had taken a fall on wet stairs at the pool and done himself some damage to his spine. He then was in so much pain that he over used ice to the point that he gave himself frostbite on the skin tissues around the injury.
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