When is it the right time to use heat or ice to treat my injury?
You don't have to suffer. You don't have to wait.
You simply need the right treatment.
- You can reduce the pain and swelling.
- You can heal quickly.
When Should I Use Ice?
Ice or cold will not help you heal, but it will reduce inflammation and pain. Use ice immediately after your injury, or any re-injury to the area that causes a flare-up of pain and swelling. Use ice for at least the first 48 hours. You will need to use ice for a longer period than the first 48 hours if your inflammation is more severe, especially in cases of tendonitis.
During your recovery you can use ice and compression any time to help with the pain and swelling. For sprains, strains, and tears, ice will not help you heal. It won't harm you though, so use it for the pain. For repetitive strain injuries like tendonitis (or almost any diagnosis ending in 'itis'), cold can help you recover from your condition.
It's very important to recognize that pain and swelling are not the problem, but only the sign of the problem. When your body experiences an acute injury, which is caused by a traumatic and sudden injury, it swells instantly and is very painful. Inflammation is part of our body's natural process to heal itself and to stop the internal bleeding. Pain is there to stop you from doing things that can make the injury worse. Pain is there to be your guide. The only reason we feel pain is so that we react to help protect our injury.
How to Use Ice Effectively
Ice alone is not nearly as effective as compression plus cold together. Also, temperatures below freezing are dangerous and can be too cold to relieve pain and swelling without doing permanent damage to your underlying tissue. Be careful when using ice. Always wear a layer of clothing between the ice and your skin.
The best choice for treating your pain and swelling is a ColdCure® Wrap from King Brand®. Our wraps come with cold gel packs and a compression wrap, for the ultimate in pain and swelling relief. During this stage it's very important to rest the injured area and follow RCCE® (Rest, Cold, Compression, and Elevation) for 2-10 days (length of time depends on the severity of your injury) to reduce the pain and swelling.
Use Cold for Safer Treatments
Most people think that RICE - Rest, Ice, Compression & Elevation - is the formula to follow when treating a soft tissue injury. The reality is that ice can cause 'cold burns', numbing your skin and causing you to be unaware of the damage you're doing. The proper solution is RCCE® (Rest, Cold, Compression, and Elevation). You don't want to apply ice that is below the freezing point of water - you want to apply cold that is just above freezing. While they're designed to be stored in the freezer, you can store the gel packs in the fridge if you find them too cold from the freezer. Not all freezers are the same. If you find that the gel is too stiff from the freezer, leave it out for 1-2 minutes before inserting it inside the wrap. When the pack is soft enough to bend, it's ready to use for treatment.
3x More Efficient + 10x More Gel = 30x More Cold
Our gel packs contain 10x more gel per lb than ordinary packs. This means they cover a larger area and work to relieve your pain and swelling more quickly and effectively. When stored in the freezer, our gel packs have 3x more cooling power per lb than ordinary gel packs. This means they stay cold longer so you won't have to swap the gels as often. Not only that, but more cold also means more relief. This is the best cold therapy device available.
Cold + Compression = Maximum Relief
ColdCure® Wraps provide firm, even compression for superior treatment of pain and swelling. The wrap applies targeted compression to your injury with no gaps in pressure. To be as effective as possible, the compression needs to be uniform and complete, and ColdCure® Wraps provide exactly that.
ColdCure® Wraps are made of soft, stretchy neoprene, making them easy to apply and adjust. Both the wrap and the gel packs are specially designed for the area of injury. The wrap can be worn without the gel pack inside as a support for your injury between treatments. The wrap is incredibly comfortable to wear.
Alternating Ice and Heat
Alternating ice and heat is a mistake. Cooling has one function - to reduce pain and inflammation by causing vasal restriction to reduce blood flow and deaden the nerves. This does not at all contribute to accelerating the healing process once the pain and inflammation have subsided. Heating has one function - to relax the muscles and remove strain from injured tissue. Depending on where you are at in your injury / recovery cycle you want to do one or the other. Alternating heat and ice only results in one treatment defeating the purpose of the other.
When Should I Use Heat?
Use heat to relax the muscles. Heat can be very effective for relaxing muscles. Even if the muscles in the area of injury are not hurt themselves, tense muscles can put strain on other tissue in the area, making things worse, so relaxing those muscles can help take the strain off your injury. After a serious injury, do not use heat in the first 48 hours - use ice. If you mildly re-injure the area after it has started to heal, do not use heat until the new re-injury has stabilized. Wait 4 to 48 hours depending on the severity of the re-injury. If you have a lot of swelling and pain, don't use heat.
How to Use Heat Effectively
- You should only apply heat once the pain and swelling has ceased
- Do not apply heat after an activity or if you have an acute injury
- Be careful when applying heat to chronic injuries that are caused by overuse
- You can use heat on a chronic injury that is not swollen or in pain
- In most instances, a BFST® Wrap is a much better choice than heat or hot packs
Use heat only when your pain and swelling is under control. Always start at the lowest level and only increase the heat if there is no additional pain. When you are at rest and your injury is protected, you can use heat to loosen the muscles around the area and help the tissue relax. Tight muscles can be holding open small tears in your tissue, preventing them from healing. Use heat only for short durations of 30 minutes or less so you don't overheat the tissue. Give the area of your injury a chance to return to normal temperature before applying heat again. Don't use ice to bring the tissue temperature back down. Let the body return to temperature naturally. Heat can help some injuries to heal. For rapid healing, use a BFST® Wrap instead of heat.
How to Use BFST® Effectively
The effects of each 20 minute BFST® treatment last for up to 4 hours. That's why we recommend that you do 3-4 treatments per day, spread out throughout the day. The perfect time to do your first treatment of the day is when you get up in the morning. This will help warm and loosen up the injured area before you take on the day. While you sleep, the muscles around the injured area can tighten and blood flow can slow. A BFST® treatment in the morning will limber the area and stimulate the blood flow needed not just to heal, but to support your increased level of activity during the day. Do another treatment in the afternoon and one in the evening. Do your last treatment of the day before bed to relax the area and aid healing.
The BFST® Wrap shouldn't be used until your pain and inflammation are under control. If you have just re-injured yourself and are in a lot of pain, follow RCCE® to recover from the initial trauma. Once the pain and inflammation have subsided for a few hours, you can resume regular BFST® treatments. BFST® is also excellent prior to any physical activity. Think of it as a warm-up for your fragile body part before undertaking a task. Professional athletes often use BFST® treatments prior to competing to ward off potential injuries from the heavy strain they are about to endure.
Using BFST® to Accelerate Healing
Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy® is the envy of the heating pad. While heating pads can cause an increase in blood flow at the surface of your skin, Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy® (BFST® for short) works deep beneath your skin to promote circulation in your muscles, ligaments and tendons. BFST® is designed to increase blood flow in the injured tissue, resulting in accelerated and more complete healing.
BFST® Wraps are far superior to heating pads. BFST® Wraps work to actively heal your damaged tissue. Heating pads can't do this. BFST® Wraps stimulate healthy blood flow in the area of your injury, deep below the skin. This creates an ideal environment for healing. All heating pads do is bring blood to the suface of your skin, making it hot to the touch. The difference between a BFST® Wrap and a heating pad is huge.
The BFST® Wrap uses our proprietary Energy Web® technology that emits stimulating EMR energy at incredibly safe, low levels. The energy is controlled and guided to surround the injury, promoting nutrient-rich, oxygenated blood to the damaged tissues. This technology provides the blood flow necessary to recover from an injury quickly and completely.
Powerful Blood Flow Stimulation
The more you stimulate your blood flow, the more you stimulate the healing process. So, the more you use your BFST® Wrap, the more benefit you will gain from it. If you use it four times per day, that's better than two. Two is better than one. It is better to spread out your treatments over the duration of the day than it is to do them close together. Back-to-back BFST® treatments without a period of rest in between is not much better than just one treatment. One treatment affects the blood flow in your body for hours after the treatment ends, so spread out the treatments and do them often.
The effects of BFST® treatments are also cumulative. This means the more regularly you get them, the more you will gain from each treatment. This is a lot like exercise. In fact, BFST® can be thought of as exercise for your circulatory system. The more you exercise, the stronger your body becomes and the more powerful you are. The more you exercise your circulatory system, the stronger it becomes and the more effective it is at providing blood flow.
How Do I Know If My Treatment Is Working?
BFST® treatments feel different for everyone. It really depends on the person and how impaired their blood flow is. Some people feel a slight tingling sensation and/or a slight warming sensation as a result of the increase in blood flow. Again, the BFST® is not a heating pad. There will be a small amount of surface heat coming from the Energy Web® inside the wrap, but the main function of the BFST® is not to provide warmth. The BFST® Wrap is designed to stimulate blood flow and heal your damaged tissues. Heating pads can't do this.
BFST® treatments are very pleasant and relaxing. You will not experience any vibrating, shocks, pain or discomfort from BFST® treatments.
King Brand® Quality
King Brand® soft tissue rehabilitation medical products are the #1 choice of top Athletic Therapists and Medical Practitioners worldwide. We provide guaranteed results and customer satisfaction. Like all King Brand® products, there simply isn't a better performing option. All King Brand® products come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Try our products and if you are not completely impressed, you can send them back for a full refund. We know you will love them though because thousands of people already use them and rave about the results.
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King Brand® BFST® and ColdCure® Wraps are FDA Registered medical devices. They are intended to prevent, treat and cure soft tissue injuries and chronic conditions. They have also passed the Health Canada, ISO 13485, ISO 10993 and IEC 60601-1 3rd Edition approval processes. ISO 10993 in particular is important when it comes to material safety. The ISO 10993 regulation ensures that our products are made from materials that are safer than the materials used to make most baby products, including diapers, toys and clothing. Part of being an FDA Registered company means that our products are made from high quality, biocompatible materials. These devices are manufactured and tested to the highest safety standards in the industry.
Click here for more information on our FDA Registration