You get out of bed like you normally do, but this time when you go to stand up, you feel a sharp pain in your lower back. Did you overdo it on the courts yesterday or just sleep funny? Either way, it seriously hurts, and you want relief. But you can’t remember if it’s better to grab an ice pack or a heating pad.
Both methods increase blood flow to the injured area and are beneficial in reducing pain as well as speeding the healing process. Heat increases circulation, which boosts the supply of oxygen to the area and accelerates the removal of waste products. Ice restricts blood flow, which reduces inflammation and numbs the pain.
Still confused? This chart should help :-)
|Use an ice pack, bag filled with ice cubes, or bag of frozen vegetables; apply no longer than 20 minutes||Use a heating pad, hot towels, or a hot bath; apply no longer than 20 minutes|