Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Do You Ice Or Heat Knee Pain

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Ice Vs Heat For Treating Your Knee Injury

Ice vs. Heat for Knee Pain | Knee Exercises

When dealing with a knee injury it’s hard to know what treatment will work best for you. You might be wondering if ice and heat will work for you. Or maybe even which will work better – ice OR heat.

Icing and heating are 2 of the most natural treatment options available. Compared to medications, surgery and other treatment methods – icing and heating have been around for centuries and have always been used for knee injury healing as a means to soothe and heal.

We understand that it can get pretty confusing to figure out what conservative treatment method will work best with all of the treatment options available to you today. To get started, you should think about the benefits you’ll get from using these therapies.

How To Ice Your Knee The Proper Way

The pain is excruciating. Sometimes it’s a dull ache from a throbbing knee, and other times it is a sharp pain stemming from just under the knee cap. The experts say you should put some ice on it, but have you ever wondered how to ice your knee?

When you ice your knee, you need to protect the skin first. Then place an ice pack or bag of ice over the protective layer and directly on the area that hurts. Keep reading to learn all the tricks and tips for how to ice your knee effectively.

If You Answered With Stiffness In The Knee Muscles

Heat, heat and more heat. Honestly, the best results Ive seen come when someone has applied heat to the knee muscles to allow better movement and less of that horrible cant-bend-your-knee sensation.

For best effects, use this method:

  • Start sitting in a chair
  • Take a hot water bottle
  • Slip it over your thigh and apply it to the stiffest area
  • Keep it there for 15 minutes, then remove
  • Allow the skin to cool to a natural temperature, then repeat the process
  • Always look out for any signs of heat burn on your skin and remove immediately if you see or feel anything.

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A Summary Of How Ice & Heat Affect Your Blood Flow

Imagine you’re standing in your living room at home. When the air in that room is at normal room temperature , your body is in a comfortable state. Your heart rate and blood pressure are normal .

Imagine the air has cooled down to freezing…

When the room becomes cooler your heart rate begins to slow down and your blood pressure increases. Your body does this automatically to retain heat in your body. At this time your soft tissue will also start to squeeze on and contract all of the veins in your body carrying blood flow. This also helps to decrease the amount of blood flowing throughout your circulatory system and retains the heat.

When cold is applied to a knee injury, all of your soft tissue will squeeze on the veins to slow down your blood flow. This in turn clamps down on the amount of fluid leaking into your injured tissue, decreasing your swelling. This is why cold is used immediately to treat newer knee injuries or re-injuries. The cold slows down your body to stop the amount of damage happening to your tissue and decrease your swelling. This cold also has a nice side benefit of numbing the nerves in and around your knee injury thereby decreasing your pain.

In the medical world this is something called ‘Vasoconstriction’.

Now, imagine the air has warmed up enough that you start sweating…

When the room becomes warmer your heart rate speeds up and your blood pressure decreases. Your body is trying to increase your blood flow to cool down your body.

How Often Should I Use Ice Or Heat For Joint Pain

Should I use Ice or Heat to Relieve Knee Pain?

As long as youre being smart about which therapy you use and careful about how to use it, Dr. Torres-Panchame says they are okay to use repetitively throughout the day.

It doesnt need to be a formal sit-on-the-couch-with-your-leg-up type of treatment. You may find youre already benefitting from thermal therapy without even realizing it. If taking a hot shower or bath every morning is very soothing to your joints, then youre already reaping the benefits of heat therapy.

Other patients say that washing their hands with hotter-than-usual water is a quick way to sooth their hands throughout the day. Some people report that they actually like washing dishes after meals because its an easy way to use heat therapy.

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Types Of Warm Packs Or Pads

Warm towel

  • Dampen a towel with warm water.

  • Put on the affected area to ease muscle spasm.

  • Heating pad

    Be sure to protect any type of heating pad device from coming in directcontact with the skin. Precautions should be taken to avoid burns,especially if you have nerve damage, such as from diabetes or other healthproblems.

    When muscles work, chemical byproducts are made that need to be eliminated.When exercise is very intense, there may not be enough blood flow toeliminate all the chemicals. It is the buildup of chemicals that cause muscle ache. Because the blood supply helpseliminate these chemicals, use heat to help sore muscles after exercise.

    Heat Is For Chronic Injuries

    Chronic injuries are those that have been going on longer than a week and tend to consist of things like tight muscles , arthritis, aches, or muscle spasms.

    Its usually something that has been lingering or going on for awhile and is actually made worse by the application of ice. This is my favorite heating pad for runners knee and they make others specific to other body parts)

    • Lingering injuries
    • Relaxing tight muscles for additional stretching
    • Increasing blood flow to an area
    • No more than 20 minutes is needed
    • Can mentally provide relief as it feels more soothing and comforting

    The next question though is how does cold therapy work in the world of recovery? Are things different than when were looking at an injury?


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    Should I Apply Ice Or Heat For Post

    Fact Checked

    Nothing ruins that runner’s high quicker than a twinge of muscle soreness. Soreness can be a sign of injury, but for new runners it may simply be delayed onset muscle soreness 1. Ice and heat are among the more popular treatment options for post-run muscle soreness. Whether you should use ice or heat depends upon the nature of your symptoms 3. While applying ice or heat may ease your symptoms, such treatments do not speed up the healing process 3. If soreness worsens or persists beyond 48 hours, consult your doctor.

    If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

    When Should You Use Cold To Treat Your Knee Pain

    When to use heat or cold for knee pain?

    Cold compression works best to relieve pain, swelling and inflammation for new injuries, re-injury and during immediate post surgery recovery. Cold therapy should also be used during the first 24 – 72 hours of treatment, combined with resting your injury.

    If you’ve been suffering for some time with a chronic knee injury you should only use cold after activity causes you more pain or triggers more inflammatory response symptoms . This would be when your knee starts to hurt at the end of the day after you’ve been on your feet, active in athletics, or performing any other tasks that has put a lot of weight or stress on your knee. When used at this time cold compression becomes a natural / organic pain reliever, treating the site where you feel the pain.

    Sometimes we feel pain while doing a certain activity – should you still use cold? Too much cold therapy can reduce your ability to heal correctly, because cold is a short term painrelievernot a soft tissue healer.

    We put milk in the fridge so it will stay fresh longer. We do this so it will stay in the same condition as when we bought it. Your injury is no different. Too much cold will keep your injury in the same state – slowing down the healing process. This can sometimes make chronic injuries linger even longer. Heat should be used when you suffer from a chronic, tight or stiff knee injury and after you reduce swelling, pain and inflammation with cold.

    Here are a couple of examples for when to use cold :

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    Urgent Advice: Get Advice From 111 Now If:

    • your knee is very painful
    • you cannot move your knee or put any weight on it
    • your knee is badly swollen or has changed shape
    • you have a very high temperature, feel hot and shivery, and have redness or heat around your knee this can be a sign of infection

    111 will tell you what to do. They can tell you the right place to get help if you need to see someone.

    Go to or .

    You can also go to an urgent treatment centre if you need to see someone now.

    They’re also called walk-in centres or minor injuries units.

    You may be seen quicker than you would at A& E.

    When Should You Use Ice

    You may want to use ice if you have an injury or your joints hurt after exercising, moving furniture, gardening or other activities. Applying an ice pack to the sore area decreases blood flow, which relieves pain and inflammation. Inflammation can cause swelling around your joint, making it feel stiff. When you use ice, stiffness is less likely to be a problem.

    Ice is most helpful when it’s used for the first 24 hours after joint pain starts. If you apply ice to your joint, be sure to follow the 20 minutes on/20 minutes off rule. Keep the ice pack on your joint no longer than 20 minutes. Wait at least 20 minutes before you use the ice pack again. Take the ice pack off sooner if your skin hurts or looks very red. Keeping the ice pack on your skin too long could cause frostbite.

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    Does Icing Your Knee Help

    Icing is the most natural way to care for a hurt knee. In conjunction with the right type of therapy, ice can reduce the swelling and inflammation in your knee.

    You need to do more than ice your knee when you injure it, though. Most doctors, trainers, and physical therapists refer to the R.I.C.E. method of therapy.

    R stands for rest. This means that you do as little as possible with your knee. You rest it by taking time away from your sport or the activity that caused the injury in the first place.

    The I stands for ice. This refers to the ice therapy we’ve been talking about with the ice pack protected by a barrier and then placed on your knee for short periods.

    C stands for compression. The inflammation and swelling will go down with the combination of ice on the joint and then some compression material squeezing the joint. You should consider putting a compression sleeve on your knee as you ice it.

    E stands for elevation. As you need to keep your injured knee elevated if you want to see the swelling go down and want to see your knee feel better more quickly.

    Now Its Your Turn To Understand What Is Better For Gout Heat Or Ice

    Ice Or Heat For Knee Pain: What Makes It The Best Remedy ...

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    Common Aches Pains And Soft Tissue Injuries


    Whether the result of a slip around the house or a misstep on the playing field, many of us have experienced a painful sprain or two. A sprain is a common sports injury that generally occurs in the wrists, knees, and ankles. Throughout the human body, tissues known as ligaments support joints by connecting bones to other bones. A sprain is the result of the tearing or stretching of one of these ligaments too far. Common sprain symptoms include swelling, pain, discomfort, and difficulty moving the affected joint or limb.


    While ligaments connect bones to other bones, tendons attach muscles to bones throughout the body. Overexerting a muscle or stretching a tendon or muscle too far can result in a strain. Muscle strains involving the lower back, legs, and shoulders are common. Typical symptoms of strains include pain, general stiffness, weakness, swelling, muscular spasms, and difficulty moving the affected area.


    While ligaments connect bones to other bones, tendons attach muscles to bones throughout the body. Overexerting a muscle or stretching a tendon or muscle too far can result in a strain. Muscle strains involving the lower back, legs, and shoulders are common. Typical symptoms of strains include pain, general stiffness, weakness, swelling, muscular spasms, and difficulty moving the affected area.

    At-Home Injury Care: What Is the Rice Method?

    R Is For Rest

    I Is For Ice

    C Is For Compression

    E Is For Elevation

    Hot And Cold Therapy For Osteoarthritis

    Osteoarthritis is when cartilage around your joints wears down over time, causing pain and stiffness. If this occurs in the knee, it usually affects both knees, unless its the result of an injury.

    There is some evidence that immersing yourself first in hot water, then ice water, then alternating between the two several times is an effective treatment for this kind of pain and discomfort.

    This method of alternating is thought to improve circulation, decrease swelling and relieve pain in an injury.

    Massaging the knee with ice could also help with osteoarthritis by improving muscle strength, reducing pain and decreasing any swelling.

    But the body of evidence available is limited, so more research is needed to find out just how effective heat or cold treatments are for a knee injury.

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    What Is Better For Gout Heat Or Ice: What You Should Know

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    The Art Of Using Hot And Cold Therapy

    When To Use ICE Or HEAT for Pain and Injuries || Seattle Sports Chiropractor || Dr. Michael Li

    Hot and cold therapy each have their own appropriate uses. You should never apply heat to a joint that is already hot, red, and irritated, for example, nor should you apply cold to a joint that’s stiff and not moving well. Remember, heat helps muscles relax cold helps to minimize inflammation and pain.

    It’s also important to be careful when using hot and cold therapy to manage arthritis pain, or you might end up with damage to your skin from exposure to relatively extreme temperatures.

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    Here are suggestions for safely using heat therapy devices such as a heating pad, a heat pack, a hand towel soaked in hot water, a warm water soak, or a hot water bottle:

    • Make sure that the temperature is never uncomfortably high you don’t want to put your skin at risk for burns.
    • Place a cloth or towel between your skin and the heat source to prevent burns.
    • Don’t apply heat to skin that is cut or injured in any way.
    • Never apply heat for longer than 20 minutes at a time.

    Suggestions for safely using cold therapy devices such as a cold pack, a bag of frozen vegetables, or a bag of ice:

    After using heat or cold on your joint pain, always evaluate your skin and look for any signs of damage like a change in color, rash, or blisters.

    Switching between hot and cold therapy can offer excellent arthritis pain management benefits, as long as each one is used appropriately.

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    Using Both Heat And Ice

    In some situations, applying both ice and heat to your joint may be helpful. Called contrast therapy, this treatment involves alternating between icing and heating a joint. While this option has traditionally been utilized after exercise or participating in a sporting event to aid in recovery, it may be helpful for more chronic conditions as well. This style of treatment can be performed using hot and cold packs or by alternately submerging the knee in hot and cold water.

    While individuals who received contrast therapy subjectively reported less overall soreness and muscular fatigue, the research is still mixed. The current evidence is lacking on whether this treatment is helpful in managing the pain associated with a knee injury or in reducing your inflammation levels.

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