Should You Use Ice or Heat?

Jan 13, 2022

Advice from a physiotherapist about ice and heat.

Ice or cryotherapy is useful during the first 72 hours of an injury. It is recommended to use ice when an area is red, hot, swollen or when there is inflammation present. Heat is useful for pain relief, and relaxing muscles. When applying ice or heat you want to leave it on for 10 minutes then take it off for 10 minutes. This is because after approximately 10 minutes on your skin you have cooled or warmed the area, and after that, your body will start working to combat the effects of the ice or heat.

Every person is different, use what feels best for you. This may mean that you are using ice even though your injury happened many years ago. If you aren’t sure which to use, ask your physiotherapist at your next appointment.