When to use an Ice Pack or Heat Pack for a Sport Injury?
Confused about whether you should use ice pack or heat pack for a sport injury? Don’t worry, you are not the only person second-guessing his/her decision. Although many athletes are aware that applying ice over an acute injury will subdue the pain, but many people who aren’t pro athletes are unaware of this fact. On the other hand, several people, including athletes aren’t very sure when heat should be applied. Here are certain guidelines, which will provide a clear distinction between both and when is it right to apply each remedy. Let’s begin with understanding that there are two basic sport injuries that anyone can experience: acute and chronic.
Acute & Chronic Athletic Injuries
Acute injuries are characterised as sudden and traumatic, causing sharp pain that is a result of a fall, collision or sprain and the cause of the accident is quite evident. Acute injuries can be identified through symptoms such as inflammation, swelling, redness, tenderness and pain. If the particular area begins to swell, it is most likely you are experiencing an acute injury. On the other hand, chronic injuries are subtle and develop slowly without any early symptoms. People usually feel pain and soreness that comes and goes, which is why they might tend to ignore it initially. Usually, if you don’t treat an acute injury, it develops into a chronic injury that could have serious health implications over time.
Ice Pack Therapy
If you have an acute injury, the best and immediate therapy is to apply an instant ice pack, which will reduce the swelling and pain significantly. By placing the ice on your injury, it narrows your blood vessels, eliminating any internal bleeding. Continued application of ice is quite controversial, which results in an abrupt vasodilation of the blood vessels (the aching response), therefore, it is important to identify the time this response starts and how often a cycle of constriction and dilation takes place. An ideal situation is to wrap the ice in a thin towel, or use an ice bag and apply it to the injured area during intervals of 10 minutes. Let the skin temperature come back to normal before you reapply the ice. This can be carried out multiple times a day for at least three days. There are many ice packs for injuries available in the market ranging from Koolpak instant ice packs, ice bags to reusable ice packs and much more.
Instant Hot Pack Therapy
Heat therapy is applied over chronic injuries, which have no signs of swelling or inflammation. Heat packs are a great solution for stiff, sore and nagging muscle or joint pain. Usually, athletes suffering from chronic injuries use heat therapy just before exercise to boost blood stimulation and the elasticity of connective tissues. Remember don’t apply heat to acute injuries because heat increases the skin temperature and raises blood circulation, which can cause internal bleeding in acute injuries. Hot packs are ideal for relaxing muscle spasms or tight muscles. You can apply a hot pack for no more than 15 to 20 minutes and keep in mind to wrap the hot pack in a thick cloth to avoid any burns.
Disposable Instant Sports Hot and Ice packs for injuries are available from our online store.