People often ask, “should I use ice therapy or heat therapy to treat my injury?” This seemingly simple question is actually not so easy to answer. Through experience, I learned that always paying attention to the client's body is the key to determining the right form of therapy. Something else that I think everyone should ask themselves is, which one feels better to you? Because you can often tell what your body needs by its response.
Both ice therapy or heat therapy can have great results, but the one that works best depends on the person’s injury and current condition. If the injury is recent and acute, for example, if you sprained your ankle and had immediate pain, swelling, redness, and sensation of heat emanating from the source of injury, that is true inflammation, and ice therapy should be applied. In a case of true inflammation, if heat is used, it will often aggravate the condition. A good analogy for that would be putting fire on top of fire.