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In part one of this two-part blog series, we looked over some basic themes on the uses of ice and heat for those who deal with aches or pains. These are common techniques for many such issues, often used in coordination with other treatment methods to help with everything from pain reduction to injury recovery and more.

At Foundation Chiropractic, we often encourage our Orem and nearby clients to utilize heat and/or ice as part of an overall treatment plan for many forms of injury, whether we’re talking about auto accident injuries such as whiplash or any other type. While part one of our series went over the kinds of injuries that can be treated using these formats, today’s part two will look at some basic tips for safe, effective applications of both heat and cold materials to an injury.

Timing Of Application

While this may vary somewhat between injuries or pain types, it’s generally recommended that both heat and ice materials are applied for short bursts at once. These are usually around 20 minutes or so in duration, with a similar amount of time in between applications. That’s not to say that you can’t apply heat or ice for longer periods if it feels necessary, but be sure to check in with your doctor or other healthcare professional if you’re unsure.

Ice Packs or Ice Cube Massage

Ice packs are one of the most common uses of this method, and they can be applied to various areas of the body. They’re ideal for any areas of swelling, tenderness or pain, and can be wrapped in a thin towel to avoid any direct contact that might cause discomfort.

You can also use an ice cube massage, which is rubbing the ice directly on the skin in circular motions. Again, a thin towel can be used as a buffer if needed.

These methods can be used well beyond 48 hours after the injury, and are often a consistent part of helping limit pain symptoms.

Heating Pads or Materials

One major type of heat therapy comes through the use of various pads, bags or other materials that can be heated up and applied to the skin. This is often in the form of a heating pad, which can be purchased at most any drug store or pharmacy, though there are also special types of pads designed for use on certain areas such as the neck.

These should be used at settings you’re comfortable with — if you ever become uncomfortably hot or feel as if there’s a burning sensation, remove the pad immediately and consult with your doctor or other healthcare professional.

Moist Heat

Finally, when we talk about moist heat, we’re referring to options like baths, hot tubs, showers or steam treatments. These can be fantastic for injuries when applied correctly, but it’s important not to make the water too hot and to avoid any lengthy exposure times that might lead to dehydration.

If you’re unsure about anything related to heat or ice therapy, please check in with your doctor or other healthcare professional for guidance. Our professionals at Foundation Chiropractic are also here to answer any questions about not only this area, but also all our various chiropractic care and related treatments for clients in Orem and nearby areas.