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Heat therapy for injuries

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 23, 2010 at 9:07 PM

On the thread about icing, it was concluded that ice wouldn't help an injury to heal. Heat is the other common treatment, and would theoretically help for the reasons ice doesn't. Does anyone have any info on this?

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on January 01, 2011
at 10:53 PM

Thanks. I have a ligament injury but the heat makes it feel better, so I think I will stick with it. I was thinking it would increase blood flow , thereby speeding up the healing. Can't hurt I guess.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on December 23, 2010
at 11:57 PM

no info other than i am loyal to my little heating pad for pretty much any muscle soreness i ever get. Im not sure if its actually helping any concrete recovery as far as healing injured tissue, but it feels really nice.

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2 Answers

1
C16d506f10d910db0736bfd0d0e3809a

on January 01, 2011
at 08:42 PM

I used to be a trainer for various sports when I was in college -- soccer, volleyball, basketball, etc. Ice is good for the first six hours or so; heat afterwards. Don't leave ice on the whole time though. If my memory serves, it should be something like 15 minutes on, 15 off, 15 on. There's probably more up-to-date info on the intarwebs. Google "sports injury ice" or something like that.

Re: heat, it will help some injuries feel better, mostly muscle strains or bruises. Tendon or ligament injuries will not be helped; I guess if it makes you feel better it won't hurt. For bruises, it really just helps circulation and the circulation carries away the dead blood cells which are what make the pretty colors, so it may look better sooner. For muscle strain, it relaxes and lengthens a strained muscle so that you can do range-of-motion or PT movements with less pain, maybe a little more flexibility. That's what will affect the healing time (not specifically the heat itself).

Well, that's off the top of my aging head. Hope this helps but maybe someone with more current info will also chime in. Cheers!

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on January 01, 2011
at 10:53 PM

Thanks. I have a ligament injury but the heat makes it feel better, so I think I will stick with it. I was thinking it would increase blood flow , thereby speeding up the healing. Can't hurt I guess.

1
06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on December 24, 2010
at 01:19 AM

You will find in training facilities for athletes whirlpools of hot water and hot tubs to alleviate the aches and pains of sore muscles. I can attest to hot tubs and easy swimming to restore my pulled groin muscle in about a week rather than the ususal 2.5 weeks.

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