Ice versus heat

January 6, 2023

Ice Treatment

Ice treatment is most commonly used for acute injuries, if you have had an injury within the last 48 hrs where swelling appears you should use ice. Ice packs can help minimise swelling around the injury, reduce bleeding into the tissues and reduce muscle spasm and pain.

Applying an ice pack early and often for the first 48 hours will help minimise swelling and decrease swelling around an injury and help control the pain. Ice treatments may also be used for chronic conditions such as overuse, injuries in athletes. Icing the injured area after activity to help control inflammation.

  • Never ice a chronic injury before activity.
  • Never place ice directly on an injury
  • Keep the ice pack moving to avoid ice burns
  • Never treat with ice for more than 30 mins
  • If the injury apppears bright pink or red remove the ice pack immediately
  • Don’t use ice packs on the left shoulder if you have a heart condition
  • Don’t use around the front or side of the neck

Heat treatment

Heat treatments should be used for chronic conditions to help relax and loosen tissues and to stimulate blood flow to the area.

Use heat treatments for conditions such as overuse injuries before participating in activities.

  • Do not use heat treatments after activity
  • Do not use heat after an acute injury
  • Never use heat where swelling is involved
  • Never leave heat on for extended periods of time or while sleeping.

Swelling is caused by bleeding in the tissue and heat just draws more blood in to the area.


Don’t use cold or heat packsĀ 

  • over areas of skin in poor condition
  • sensitivity to heat or cold
  • poor circulation
  • Diabetes
  • infected areas

Surfcoast massage is fully qualified in sports massage and injuries and works closely with physiotherapist and osteopaths to help the client with a speedy recovery. Surfcoast massage is qualified in dry needling and cupping which are all tools to help with the injuries.

Surfcoast massage can be contacted on 0438668878 to make an appointment or speak with Lisa to discuss your best option of treatment.