What should I use after injury ? Cold or Heat?

Injury to the extremities and   trunk is quite common  which  almost everybody gets by normal activities or  by an accident like playing football, lifting heavy weight etc.. There seems to be the confusion about application of ice or hot pack  and how long one should use after the injury.

It is advised to  use ice in the acute stage of an injury (within the first 24-48 hours), or whenever swelling is develops. Ice helps to reduce inflammation and swelling by decreasing

blood flow to the area that is injured. One should  apply ice indirectly (not directly on the skin) for 10 to 20 minutes, remove the ice for at least 20 minutes, and repeat as necessary. Heat increases blood flow, which helps promote pain relief after inflammation and swelling subside. Heat is also used to assist in warming muscles up prior to exercise, any physical activity, or physical therapy.