When to Use Ice or Heat with a Sports Injury

Most people will agree that it’s rather hard to go through life without spraining a ligament, straining a muscle, experiencing a headache, or even wrenching your back. As a result, the older you get, the more prone you are to such issues.

With that said, any reputable sports injury doctor in San Francisco will tell you that whenever something hurts, particularly in regards to sports injuries, two of the best remedies are either ice or heat.

Heat vs.Cold

When to Use Ice or Heat with a Sports Injury

When it comes to sports injuries, it’s important to understand what the immediate and effective remedies are, in order to relieve pain. In most cases, the best course of action for anyone experiencing such discomfort is to either apply ice or heat to the affected region as soon as possible to prevent further complications.

What is best for one’s aches and pain; heat or ice?

A professional Bay Area orthopedic doctor will tell you that ice is the best remedy for pain that causes inflammation and swelling. In these cases, heat can perpetuate the cycle of inflammation which can do much more harm than good. However, based on a case-by-case basis, moist heat can help loosen injured muscles before strenuous activities, and later on icing may be used to minimize pain.


In most cases, ice or heat may be applied in a variety of ways depending on the condition of the individual and their comfort levels. Common heat and ice treatments include:

However, all of these forms of application will depend on one’s injury and recommendations made by an orthopedic specialist. This is because the degree of damage or pain may vary from person to person.

Contact a Bay Area Orthopedic Specialist Today!

If you need further information from professional sports medicine doctors in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact IASM today for a consultation with Dr. Jeffrey Halbrecht. Give us a call at (415) 923-0944.

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