Do Your Muscles Need Heat or Cold?

coldorwarmblogIf you’re suffering from aching muscles and muscle soreness, should you try heat or cold?  Turns out the answer may be both.

The best way to treat sore muscles is to apply a cold compress.  The cold reduces blood flow and lessens swelling and slows down the pain messages to the brain. Immediately after the muscle strain or injury, try a cold compress (a bag of frozen peas works, too) for about 20 minutes, every 4-6 hours.

For chronic pain, applying heat to the area promotes better blood flow and circulation.  Heat/cold is usually more effective for muscle pain like arthritis or lower back pain.  Try 20 minutes with a heating pad, every 4-6 hours, alternating with cold for general muscle soreness or sprains.

Ask our trained therapist for a recommendation after your next massage if you’d like to know more.