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When to apply cold or heat to an injury?


Applying cold or heat to an injury depends a lot on the type of injury suffered. There are injuries that improve with the cold and others with the heat and there are cases in which both techniques can be applied. We tell you when it is appropriate to apply heat or cold depending on the type of injury.

When to apply heat to an injury?

We can apply heat for muscle or joint pain where there is no swelling or swelling. Joint pain, contractures of muscles.

The heat is convenient to apply if we have an injury and want to exercise. It is applied before doing the exercise to help loosen the muscles and relax the area with pain.

How is heat applied in an injury?

The best way to apply the heat to the damaged area is with a towel soaked in hot water (it is convenient to keep the hot water so that, as the towel is cooled, we can submerge it as many times as we want to reheat the towel ).


How long is the heat applied to an injury?

Before running (for example) it is advisable to apply heat to the damaged area for about 5 – 10 minutes.

When to apply cold in an injury?

The cold is applied immediately after suffering an acute injury (for example a sprain) that produces pain, inflammation, we can also apply cold to calm the muscles after intensive exercise. An ice bath will help your muscles recover after a full day of physical activity.

How does the cold apply to an injury?

The cold can be applied using an “ice pack” (which can be a plastic bag with ice inside, a bag with frozen vegetables, or even a bottle of frozen water). It is advisable to use a towel so that the ice is not in direct contact with the skin.

How long should the cold apply to an injury?

Apply the ice for about 15 – 20 minutes about 3-5 times a day.
For acute injuries, it would be advisable to apply the ice only for the first 24 – 48 hours from the time of injury. For chronic injuries, on the other hand, it is advisable to apply the cold when the area suffers and the pain of the injury reappears.

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