Cynthia: Megan, I don’t know when to use heat or ice when I have different pains. Sometimes I need to help get rid of being sore after exercise or sometimes I need to help my lower back pain. What’s the difference between heat and ice?
Megan: Hey Cynthia. Great question. I like to think of heat as the relaxer. It works well to reduce being stiff. Cold can be used to reduce swelling or sharp pain sensations. Heat works well for the joints. Because I have had knee surgery, that area has some arthritis. Heat helps me there. Ice works for inflammation on those joints or in the specific location. You don’t need to alternate methods or over do it. Twenty to thirty minute increments are plenty. Home remedies such as heat or ice are a great starting point for injuries, but if the trouble persists, always go see a doctor.