When to Use Heat Vs Cold 

Kieran Finnegan: Waterloo Chiropractor & Myotherpaist.

Throughout the years as a chiropractor, myotherapist (SLM) I have seen some perplexity with regards to utilizing ice or heat on pain or injury, which I believe is mostly because of an absence of understanding with regards to treating the myofascial system (myo= muscle) (fascial= connective tissue) and what treatment works, what doesn’t and why. I have composed this article to help you to gather a, more educated choice in regards to the proper use of cold & heat.

It is an accepted way of thinking that ice is best for recent or acute pain or injury, yet this may not be the case. Generally speaking if you have damaged or torn the soft tissues, such as rolling an ankle, pulling an hamstring or receiving a kick or some form of mild trauma, ice would be most appropriate for only a short period, until the swelling & inflammation has decreased ( approx. 1-24 hrs). This is generally acknowledged and most likely is the correct approach.

Where there seems to be some confusion, is when someone suffers an acute or spasm of a muscles(s), in this case there is no actual damage to the soft tissues rather a sudden contraction & you want to stimulate blood to the area and allow to muscles to relax. This may happen with day to day activities such as vacuuming, bending forward to put on some socks or even coughing or sneezing. This commonly occurs in the lower spine, neck, mid back & muscles in between the ribs and it can be very debilitating, but with the right treatment it tends to settle down quick enough.

If you experience an acute episode of lower back pain with pins & needles that run down into the leg & foot than seeing a trained professional would be best. On the very rare chance you experience bowel or bladder symptoms this would be considered a medical emergency and you need to consult a medically trained professional  immediately.

At Waterloo Chiropractic & Myotherapy you get a complete & wholistic muscle & spine therapy that does not just treat the symptoms. If you would like more information contact Waterloo Chiropractic & Myotherapy today.