You have just experienced or been involved in an injury... what do you do?

You ask yourself, should I apply heat or ice to the affected area?

To clear up any confusion, here is how to handle the injury and ensure you assess the situation safely.

Definition of 'Injury'

An injury often involves a traumatic experience while performing an intense effort causing pain instantly.


Before applying any first aid, it is important to assess the 'trueness' and severity of the injury.

The reason being... by applying any unwanted action to the body (e.g. heat or ice application), it could be interpreted by the body as a threat. By thinking you are soothing the body, you could actually inflict more pain.

So, really assess if the injury requires immediate attention or be brave and keep moving still remaining cautious.

Official Terms

Applying ice or heat to injury is know as therapeutic icing or heating.

Or officially known as cryotherapy, when applying ice, or thermotherapy when applying heat.


Deciding whether to apply heat or ice after an injury has occurred is a cheap self treatment option involving minimal risk.

So let clarify...

Ice is for...

Acute Injuries

Heat is for...


Ice VS. Heat

Ice is best applied immediately or within the first 48 hours of an acute injury to reduce swelling, bleeding into the tissues, and reduce muscle spasm and pain.

When you apply ice after an injury, you are calming down the damaged tissue and inflamed area which may show be displaying signs of swelling, redness or feel hot.

Don't be frightened by the inflammatory stage during the initial stages of the injury - this is just a healthy and natural process by the body to occur.

The benefits of applying ice, it is a drugless, it numbs sensation and is a easy initial treatment for the pain.

An example of injuries you would apply ice to include...

  • pulled muscle
  • torn ligament
  • When area of injury is inflamed

Heat is best applied for muscles, chronic pain and stress. The heat will sooth the nervous system and mind which will take the edge off pain of whole muscle spasms and trigger points.

For initial stages of injury ice should be applied, however, once the swelling has settled down, heat could be applied a few days or week(s) later to soothe the muscles.

An example of injuries you would apply ice to include...

  • Sore back
  • Neck pain
  • Sore muscles (DOMS)

Ice & Heat

Now, as mentioned, someone an injury is best ice then when signs of recovery or when injury has settled down take place, heat may need to be applied. This is most likely to occur when one experience a muscle tear or strains. Sometimes it can be hard to determine what you should do with you inujury.. however, keep in mind ice usually wins... but apply ice no more than the first few days of injury. After, and when the worse it over, make the change to heat.

Mix Up

Yes, damage can be done if you use the incorrect initial ice or heat application to an injury.

If you apply heat to an incorrect injury, if could make inflammation worse and ice could potentially results in muscle tension and spams.

Think logically....

Don't apply ice if the victim is cold or shivering...

Don't apply heat if the victim is hot and sweating.

Any unwanted application, the body will send signals to the brain, interpreting this as a threat and could potentially increase pain signals - which is not pleasant for the victim. You want to comfort and asses the pain as safely and accurately as possible.


For example, for a blown up knee, which someone has most likely torn a ligament, you would not apply heat. Applying heat will only blow up the injury more like a balloon - apply ice! Remember, it would be red, most likely warm around the area, so apply the opposite... coolness.

Muscles ache internally so wont show physical sings of redness, heat or swelling. Therefore, heat is best applied to soothe the area. If you apply ice, it can actually aggravate the muscle pain and create stiffness in the area.


Firstly, by educating you with this information, hopefully it makes you feel more comforted on what to do in the rare occasion or circumstance of an occurred injury happens.

When an injury first takes place, the best thing you can do is try your best to keep calm. Think logically and you will prevent any further injury.

Keep it simple,

If it is hot, avoid heat, if it is cold, avoid ice.

In most cases, first wins to initially treat an injury. However, apply it no longer than the first few days after injury then switch to heat.

If you have any confusion or queries, it is always best you seek expert advice.

Be careful, keep cautious, keep safe!


If you have had an injury, it is important you recover as best you can. Factors that will having major impact with recovery will be rest, correct treatment or medicine and nutrition.

The following are products we provide that could assist you with injury recovery...


Protein aids in muscle repair and growth.

We stock a variety of 'Protein Powders'.

The top protein powders we currently stock are...


Branched Chain Amino Acids signal protein synthesis for rapid muscle recovery & repair.

Our top BCAA's are...

Joint Formulas

The body does not naturally produce fats, therefore they need to be consumed through diet and/or supplements. Consuming fats help lubricate the joints as well as reduce inflammation and associated pain.

General Health & Wellbeing

Good health and nutrition is vital whilst recovering from an injury to help it heal and speed up the process in which it does.

To improve your overall general health and wellbeing, here are some of our top health products..

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