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  1. #1
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    Default when to use ice, heat and salicylic acid lotions?

    Is there any guide to use ice, heat or salicylic acid lotions for injuries or muscle pain?

    I'm particularly concerned about using ice or heat to heal or stop injuries.

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    Treatment varies depending on the type of injury. However, I will assume you are talking about traumatic injuries -- that is, when the injury happens suddenly, such as an ankle sprain.

    Basic first aid is really important. It is quite simple: PRICE. Follow these guidelines as strictly as you can, for the first 48 hours:

    • Protection -- slings / strapping / crutches
    • Rest -- avoid activities that aggravate it, especially badminton!
    • Ice -- 10 minutes every 2 hours
    • Compression -- tubigrip / bandage
    • Elevation -- foot higher than hip, or arm higher than shoulder


    (You can also take anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen.)

    You should avoid:

    • Heat (which can increase swelling and bleeding)
    • Massage (which can disrupt healing)


    Following this basic first aid can make the difference between an injury that heals well, and one that troubles you for years -- possibly forever. If at all possible, take time off work. The first 48 hours are crucial; you will never have this chance again.

    Later on, heat or massage may be helpful but not during the initial 48 hours. Personally, I would be cautious and follow PRICE for 72 hours. And of course, go see a good physio as soon as possible!

    Why would you use salicylic acid? That's a treatment for skin conditions.

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    Hi there,

    Just elaborating what has been mention earlier.

    1. Why first 48 or 72 hrs?

    This is a phase where the injuries is ACUTE therefore inflammation will take place rapidly leading to further swelling and pain. STRICT immobilization or preventing of any kind of weight bearing movement must be adhere to reduce further inflammation because this can slower the healing rate of your injury. The greater the degree of inflammation ( swelling) occur, the slower will the healing rate will follow. Use any support to aid your movement effort especially at this phase.

    2. Why ice compression and not hot?

    Inflammation that occur after the injuries is a result of complex biological response of vascular tissues to harmful stimuli in this case a damage tissue. Since the ingredient for this biological response are supplied by the arteries and capillaries at the affected injured area, compressing these blood vessels with ice will compress ( vasocompression) them thus reducing the rate of inflammation to further occur.

    If you use hot compression then certainly you will dilate the blood vessel (vasodilatation) and further increase the rate of inflammation.

    3. Why ice compression for 10 minutes?

    Clinically, 10 minutes will be a theoretical time frame that is sufficient enough to both vasocompress the blood vessels at the injury site in reducing further inflammation from occuring as well as not to further diminished the oxygen supply to surrounding tissue that can lead to tissue damage (ischemia).

    4. Role of massage

    Depends on site and grade of injury.

    a. Ankle sprain grade 1 and 2 ( mild ligament w/out tearing and ligament with partial tear).

    Massage starts at D4 with and EOD frequency ( every other day ). This is to give time for new scar tissue to grow in strengthening the ligament at the injury site.

    b. Muscle injury

    Advisable not to massage as this can aggravate further muscle injuries

    SS

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    That's a very good detailed explanation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gollum View Post



    (You can also take anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen.)

    You should avoid:

    • Heat (which can increase swelling and bleeding)
    • Massage (which can disrupt healing)


    Following this basic first aid can make the difference between an injury that heals well, and one that troubles you for years -- possibly forever. If at all possible, take time off work. The first 48 hours are crucial; you will never have this chance again.

    Later on, heat or massage may be helpful but not during the initial 48 hours. Personally, I would be cautious and follow PRICE for 72 hours. And of course, go see a good physio as soon as possible!

    Why would you use salicylic acid? That's a treatment for skin conditions.
    I think he refers to acetylsalicyclic acid which is aspirin (not salicyclic acid). This comes under the group of drugs called NSAIDS of which ibuprofen is under.

    They relieve pain, but don't improve healing per se. Neither to they help stop you from getting injured.

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    How about non-traumatic injury like tendonitis? Do we still follow the 72 hours ice and heat thereafter guideline? How about compression?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwun View Post
    How about non-traumatic injury like tendonitis? Do we still follow the 72 hours ice and heat thereafter guideline? How about compression?
    You'll need to see a doctor or physio

    But, the injury should be following slightly different advice. Mind you, there are many different opinions and every person is an individual with different recovery profiles, even for the same injury.

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    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    Nah, forget about ice vs heat for tendinitis... just get some stem cell injections...

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwun View Post
    How about non-traumatic injury like tendonitis? Do we still follow the 72 hours ice and heat thereafter guideline? How about compression?
    Tendon is a connective tissue that holds muscle to the bones. When to much stress happens to this tissue (forceful motion / poor technique / overuse), injury can happen which lead to inflammation and thus tendonitis occurs. When such inflammation occur to the tendon it usually can self heal but chronic tendonitis that can lead to several weeks/month can happen if repeated stress to this tissue happens frequently. Achilles Tendonitis / Tennis Elbow are few examples of common tendonitis that frequently occur to active sportsperson.

    American College of Rheumatology (ACR) still recommend the classic RICE treatment to reduce the inflammation process (Rest the joint; apply ice packs; compress the area with an elastic bandage to reduce soreness and inflammation; and keep the joint elevated) in the acute phase when tendonitis happens. You may also need some NSAIDS (Non- steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs) to alleviate any pain that you're experiencing during the phase where there is still inflammation occurs. Only make sure that you are not allergic to any of the NSAIDS line of products.

    The role of heat compression in the management of tendonitis is part of the prevention program if you're already diagnosed to have tendonitis. Heat application to the affected area prior to any of your recreational/sport activity will promote more oxygen supply via vasodilating the blood vessels that is supplying to the affected tissue. Combining this approach afterwards with a proper warming up exercise will create a much healthier tissue condition that is anatomically prepare (strength and elasticity) to absorb shock to better your chance to reduce the risk of getting tendonitis after your sport.

    SS

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    It's interesting that western medicine say that you should apply cold press to the affected area to reduce inflammation and swelling but every time I go to a chinese medicine practitioner they apply heat with an external herbal remedy. I actually find the latter more effective personally.

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    i was told that you can apply heat to improve circulation just before you begin your exercise.

    is that correct?
    Last edited by pcll99; 10-17-2014 at 09:37 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcll99 View Post
    i was told that you can apply heat to improve circulation just before you begin your exercise.

    is that correct?
    Yes. Heat can help improve circulation and relax muscles.

    This is part of the reason that doing a warm-up exercise (e.g. jogging) is good for you before playing.

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    Although don't overdo the heat (like sauna) or you'll over relax the muscles and you'll feel lethargic.

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    Cold is used to reduce swelling. For an example you bumped your head, you want to reduce the swelling, so you apply ice to stop the inflammation.

    Muscle pains, muscle soreness, any pain that doesn't have physical swelling should use heat to treat it. Heat provides circulation to the muscles and allows the muscles to recover faster. A heating pad is ideal, so is a sauna. The best remedy I've found is taking a hot bath with two cups of Epsom salt bath added. Sit in there for 20-25 minutes and you'll wake up feeling brand new I guarantee it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by R20190 View Post
    It's interesting that western medicine say that you should apply cold press to the affected area to reduce inflammation and swelling but every time I go to a chinese medicine practitioner they apply heat with an external herbal remedy. I actually find the latter more effective personally.
    From what I've read in some injury studies, the use of ice to reduce inflammation is not actually that important. Applying correct pressure for an acute injury is a hundred times more effective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordrogue View Post
    From what I've read in some injury studies, the use of ice to reduce inflammation is not actually that important. Applying correct pressure for an acute injury is a hundred times more effective.
    That's...surprising. I wouldn't jump to that conclusion from just a few studies.

  17. #17
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    100 times more effective? That's a bold claim...

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