Daytime and evening appointments available.  07425 605 039          

Heat or Ice?

When injury strikes or everyday aches and pains need a little attention, it can be hard to decide what action to take. Most people know that Heat and Ice can help but are unsure as to what benefits they will get from each. This summary gives a simple explanation about when to use a cool pack or heat pad to help your recovery.


Heat therapy will open up your blood vessels which improves blood flow, relaxes muscles and can help to alleviate aches and pains. This is a great way to loosen up stiff joints and tight muscles. It can also help with Tension headaches and some chronic pain conditions such as aching shoulders from desk work. You can use a hot water bottle or a wheat bag that can be heated in the microwave.


Cold therapy slows down blood flow which reduces swelling and inflammation. It can also “numb” any pain. Therefore, it can be used right after an injury. Ice is useful for Migraine headaches, bumps, sprains and strains from sports or slips and falls in everyday life. Cold water therapy is also useful for minor burns which should be held under a running tap. Some of these injuries will require medical attention, so seek advice after first aid.

Safety Tips

Always protect your skin from heat or cold packs with a thin towel,

Treat for no longer that 20 minutes at a time and leave at least 1 hour between treatments,

When using cold therapy, check the skin regularly for any signs of damage (red or blistered),

Do not use Heat if you are swollen, bruised or within 72hrs of injury,

Do not use heat if you have poor circulation, such as from Diabetes.

If you have any questions or need some help with an injury, please get in touch.