ARTICLES:   Causes   Conditions   Treatments   Ice/Heat   Hydration   Costs

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ICE or HEAT, initial injury response?

This is my professional opinion influenced by over 15 years of practical clientele application experience as a personal trainer, class instructor, self rehabilitation, and lower back pain exercise expertise.

The medical community recommends ice therapy immediately after the initial injury occurs. They say for up to seventy-two hours of icing with twenty minutes on, than twenty to thirty minutes off. Ice therapy limits inflammation which is the body’s natural defense mechanism to cushion and protect an injury from further damage. Without icing a traumatic injury, the inflammation can accumulate in excess, delaying recovery for weeks or months. Ice limits blood flow, oxidation, and causes tissue to constrict, limiting its range of motion capabilities.

What I usually suggest is ice for the first twenty–four hours only, with twenty minutes on, twenty minutes off, and repeat. I then prefer a CONTRAST solution of ice and than heat for as long as needed or until the swelling is removed. I prefer this method because the ice will limit inflammation and then the heat will increase mobility and force blood to re-enter into the surrounding injured region. As stated earlier in OXIDATION and SUSTAINED BLOOD VOLUME theories, the oxygen delivered through blood is how your body will rid the injured area of inflammation, toxins, and dead debris for a much more efficient, speedy recovery. I then introduce exercising to the surrounding injured region only after the majority of swelling is removed. The exercises induce even more blood volume to excel recovery.

Heat Therapy warms tissue temporarily allowing better elasticity and mobility. It can be used for very minor discomfort as a primary treatment but more often is an excellent complimentary treatment. The BACK PAIN ELIMINATOR exercise program can benefit from heat therapy as well. I suggest immediately after exercising, sooth your injured region with a heated pad for ten to thirty minutes of low to moderate heat. This will allow increased SUSTAINED BLOOD VOLUME (as discussed in oxidation) to the injured region, assisting recovery. If your injury is beyond merely muscle ache I would suggest replacing your out-dated electrical heating pad with a moist heated pad for more even distribution. The Mother Cat Company has a nice product that is durable, versatile and reasonably priced. (click here)

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