Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Ice vs. heat??

A great article in Dance Teacher Magazine explains the differences in when you should be icing or heating an injury and some helpful tips:


  • after an acute injury, immediately, to reduce swelling and decrease pain 
  • acute injuries: like sprains and dislocations; chronic injuries: like tendonitis; on bruising 
  • apply ice for about 10 minutes every hour to reduce inflammation -- the first 24 -72 hours are crucial! 
  • never apply ice directly to the skin and don't leave on for more than 20 minutes 

  • increases blood flow to help with mobility (good to use heat and a warm-up before activity) 
  • good for pulled or stiff muscles, or joint issues like arthritis 
  • not for use right after an injury occurs! wait at least 48 hours before applying heat 
  • do not leave heat on for longer than 20 minutes 

  • using crushed ice (or a bag of frozen peas!) will help distribute the cooling more evenly 
  • freeze water in Dixie cups to use for frozen massage -- warning: keep ice moving to prevent burning the skin 
  • do not sleep with heating pads on -- could burn the skin with prolonged use!
  • use a damp washcloth in the microwave for a heat pack to mold around a joint 

Most importantly..... 
monitor injuries and keep a close eye on your body to keep you dancing and healthy! 

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