Clinical Question – Ice vs. Heat

Should I apply ice or heat for pain?

First you need to determine if you have pain from an acute injury or chronic injury.  An acute injury has a rapid onset and is short-lived.  A chronic injury happens gradually and is long-lasting.  For acute injuries, you should apply ice for 10-15 minute intervals several times a day for up to 3 days.  For chronic injuries, you should apply heat for 15-30 minutes intervals as needed.  If you find your symptoms still persist after approximately 48 hours of heat/ice treatment, you should contact your physician or physical therapist for further treatment options.