Heat Or Ice! Which One Is Best For Back Pain Or Any Muscle Strain?

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Heat Or Ice! Which One Is Best For Back Pain Or Any Muscle Strain?
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Working out does good to a body, but the case hardly remains the same once you complete your workout schedule. Even after exercising regularly, most of us have been through aching, throbbing, chronic muscle pain, soreness, can't-sit-down-or-lift-my-arm situations. 

An aggressive workout might demolish your muscles, making it difficult for you to even lift your arms up for pulling out shirt.

Muscle soreness can be frustrating and so to get relief, you might even try stretching or going for a heating pad massage to loosen things up. But still, at times you become unsure about what to choose between the freezer and furnace.

So, to clear out your confusion, we have come up with a few tricks that will help you out in deciding which one to use, heat or ice.

Read also: 10 Common mistakes people make during workout and how to them right 


1. If it's 'sprained ankle' – Ice

1. If it’s ‘sprained ankle’ – Ice

The effective treatment for sprain as well as any new joint pain or swelling is ice, coupled with a good rest time. Use the elastic bandage and wrap it around the injured part. Use a pillow to prop it up above the level of heart and then apply ice half an hour ON, 20 minutes OFF for the first 48 hours. Place a napkin or towel under the ice to avoid irritation.

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2. For pulled muscles – Ice, followed by heating.

2. For pulled muscles – Ice, followed by heating.
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A new pulled muscle causes inflammation, so you should go for ice and if it takes several weeks to heal, then try a warm compress – especially before jumping into exercising. It will help in warming up the muscles and ensure the balanced supply of oxygen.

3. Menstrual cramps –Heat

3. Menstrual cramps –Heat
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Ladies, the perfect way to get relief from menstrual cramps is heat. Use a heating pad to relax your tensed up muscles during periods.

4. Lower back pain – Ice or heat

4. Lower back pain – Ice or heat
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If your back is killing you and if it isn't the first time you're feeling the pain, then you should go for a heating pad to chase away the chill and if it's the first time your back has bothered you, then you should head for an ice pack.

5. A headache – Ice or heat

5. A headache – Ice or heat
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Ice causes numbness and this can cure headaches. So place an ice pack on the painful area in 10-minute intervals for about 1 hour or so. However, for some, heating pad can help by relaxing head muscles. You can use it for neck too.

6. Haemorrhoids – Ice then heat

6. Haemorrhoids – Ice then heat
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A cold pack will instantly relief the inflammation caused by swollen veins. And after that when you feel it to be under control, you can head for a warm water sitz bath which will add more soothing effect to it.

You can even try - 'Natural ways to get rid of hemorrhoids'.

7. Arthritis – Heat

7. Arthritis – Heat
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The absolute treatment of arthritis, chronic pain of joints, responds better to warmth than ice. The heat will not only soothe and relax stiff muscles but even improve blood circulation. Use a microwavable heating pad and apply it for only 20 minutes in sitting and relaxing position.

8. Stiff neck – Ice

8. Stiff neck – Ice
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Ice tends to be best and most effective for stiff neck muscles. Basically, stiffness is an acute injury and the quicker you apply ice over it, the quicker will you feel better.

Ok, if you thinking about hot-cold creams then read this...

Ok, if you thinking about hot-cold creams then read this...
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Those sports creams that claim to be cold or hot or both contain methanol or camphor which sets a superficial, temporary cooling effect only to distract you from pain. But these creams actually can't treat the issue properly.

Now you have learnt when to use heat and when to use ice. Hope you remember this information.

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Ice or heat, is your doubt cleared now?