Is heat or cold better for sore muscles?

Ice wins to shut down swelling, inflammation and pain early on where heat may actually make an injury worse.” If you’re dealing with lingering injuries (older than 6 weeks) then it’s okay to use heat. The increased blood flow relaxes tight muscles and relieves aching joints.

Is a heating pad good for sore muscles?

Use a heating pad or a warm towel to help relieve muscle aches and tension. Be sure not to cause yourself more pain and avoid burns by using a towel between the heating pad and your skin. As with ice, only apply heat for about 20 minutes at a time.

Does heat make sore muscles worse?

When to Use Heat

Heat will make the swelling and pain worse, which is not what you want. You also should not apply heat if your body is already hot — for example, if you’re sweating. It won’t be effective. One of the benefits of heat therapy is that you can apply it for longer than you can use ice.

Is heat good for tight muscles?

Heat. Brings more blood to the area where it is applied. Reduces joint stiffness and muscle spasm, which makes it useful when muscles are tight.

How can I speed up muscle recovery?

Your doctor may recommend the following at-home treatments:

  1. Rest. Rest the muscle for a few days or until your doctor gives you the okay. …
  2. Ice. Apply ice to the injury for 20 minutes each hour you’re awake. …
  3. Compression. Wrapping the muscle with an elastic bandage can help bring down swelling. …
  4. Elevation. …
  5. Medication. …
  6. Heat.
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What happens if you ice for more than 20 minutes?

Greater than 20 minutes of icing can cause reactive vasodilation, or widening, of the vessels as the body tries to make sure the tissues get the blood supply they need. Studies have also shown 30 to 40 minutes in between icing sessions are needed to counter this reaction.

Is it OK to exercise with sore muscles?

In most cases, gentle recovery exercises like walking or swimming are safe if you’re sore after working out. They may even be beneficial and help you recover faster. But it’s important to rest if you’re experiencing symptoms of fatigue or are in pain.

What does icing do to muscles?

Icing an injury typically takes place immediately after the injury occurs. Using a cold compress or ice pack on a strained muscle can decrease inflammation and numb pain in the area. Icing is effective at reducing pain and swelling because the cold constricts blood vessels and decreases circulation to the area.