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Strained a Muscle - Do I Use Heat or Ice?

Your choice could make the pain better or worse.

Ever heard of the P.R.I.C.E acronym?

How about H.A.R.M?

Commit these 2 simple words to your memory and you'll be effectively self-managing the initial stages of an acute muscle injury.

Let's take a look at what they mean and which one applies to which stage of the healing process

First 72 hours after injury

Apply PRICE - Protection Rest Ice Compression Elevation

Avoid HARM - Heat Alcohol Run (exercise) Massage

Avoid heat - why?

Heat is a 'vasodilator' which will increase blood flow to an injured area, especially torn muscle, increasing the volume of bruising and swelling in the area. Not desired!

Ice / cold is good!

An ice pack (or bag of peas) can work wonders in reducing inflammation.
Always wrap the ice pack in a damp cloth and don't leave on the skin for more than 20-30mins at a time to avoid ice burn.

We explore this subject in greater detail on our website and also take a look at common 'Over the Counter Medications' such as Paracetamol vs Ibuprofen and which of these is best to use first.

You can read more about this topic in the following article - Self Treatment Tips 

If you are currently suffering a debilitating muscle strain or ache that has progressed beyond the 72 hour period and want quick, effective treatment - give us a call on Tel : 01 283 4303

In good health,

Team Physio

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