A word of warning about the microwave wheat packs (which are very nice, though don't work for injuries for me the way ice does). We left ours in a warm cupboard when we went away, and when we came back the room was full of thousands of little corn weevils that had hatched out from it.
I've always worked on the premise that ice is only really beneficial for the first 36 hours after an injury, to prevent immediate swelling as much as possible, and also just after each run in the case of ongoing problems like shin pain.
Both the physios I've used in the last couple of years said that ice wouldn't make any difference for an injury that was more than a few days old, and that the best way to encourage healing after that was heat, as it it increases the blood flow to the injured area which speeds up the healing process.
Not 100% sure this is correct, just what I've been told.
P.S. at the thought of the corn weevils...
Beware of using heat or massage too early into the injury as both of these can aggravate the problem.
Also - further to runs-with-dogs final paragraph - continued icing would slow down the healing process as bloodflow to the injury is restricted
I agree with runs-with-dogs and ajax. I would just add - make sure to finish on cold when doing contrast bathing, especially in first few days.
Yes RT you're right although towards the end of hot/cold (last 2 days) treatment I finish on hot.
Another purpose of hot/cold is to start phasing out cold treatment in favour of hot, so the first 4 days I start & finish on cold whilst days 5 & 6 start & finish with hot.
My timings are very user friendly too but I've found when I've describe the timings I actually use, the client often doesn't find it easy to follow.
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