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Ice Pack and Heating Pad Tips From Chiropractors

By Lana Bandoim

After a difficult day at the gym, you stagger home and search for something to stop the knee pain. Do you grab the ice pack or heating pad for fast relief? Chiropractors often get questions about them and have the following recommendations.  

Benefits of Ice Packs

Ice packs can restrict blood flow and reduce inflammation. They are useful for injuries such as sprains, bruises, strains or swelling. You can apply an ice pack immediately after an injury or use it as part of rehabilitation therapy. However, applying an ice pack for an extended period of time may cause nerve or tissue damage. Consult your chiropractor for the best way to use ice packs.

Benefits of Heating Pads

Heating pads can increase blood flow. They help with relaxation and pain reduction. Heating pads can be useful for general aches and pains. They may also help heal damaged tissue because they improve circulation. However, heating pads should not be used on areas that are bruised or swollen. In addition, they cannot be used on open wounds. Talk to your chiropractor about the right way to use heating pads.

Should You Use an Ice Pack or Heating Pad?

In general, ice packs are better for acute pain, and heating pads work better for chronic pain. However, your case may be unique and may require a different approach. Talk to your doctor to determine the right option before using an ice pack or heating pad.  


Both ice packs and heating pads have risks. You should not use either one if there is an infection or bleeding. In addition, ice packs and heating pads may be dangerous for people with diabetes or other chronic health problems. Avoid ice packs and heating pads if you have cardiovascular diseases and poor circulation. Do not fall asleep with either an ice pack or heating pad on your body.  

Long-term Solutions

Although ice packs and heating pads can offer temporary relief, they are not long-term solutions. Regular visits to the chiropractor are a better choice. You can receive specific treatments and home instructions that reduce the pain.

If you are still confused about ice packs or heating pads, visit The Joint Chiropractic for help. The licensed doctors at The Joint offer personalized care plans and can answer questions about pain relief. The Joint is open nights and weekends, so the schedule is always flexible. In addition, there are no insurance requirements to confuse you.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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