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Doctor insights on: Appropriate Ice Heat Head Injuries

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Heat or ice on injury?

Heat or ice on injury?

Cold then heat: Most sports medicine experts recommend cold first, because it decreases swelling and pain. Then later, heat frequently provides more relief. However, you are the ultimate judge: use the one that works best for you. ...Read more

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Dr. Heidi Fowler
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Injuries (Definition)

An injury, of any severity, is a condition in which a person has damage to any part of his body. Examples of major injuries include gunshot wounds, knife wounds, large burns, severed ...Read more


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Is it appropriate to use ice or heat on head injuries?

Is it appropriate to use ice or heat on head injuries?

Depends: If the ice is used on a superficial contusion, that is fine but for any possible internal or closed head injury, the treatment is to get seen asap by a medical professional. ...Read more

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What's best for wrist tendinitis, heat or ice therapy?

What's best for wrist tendinitis, heat or ice therapy?

Ice first, then heat: Ice generally works best in the first 24-48 hours and heat after that time span. Remeber, that tendinitis may not improve with either ice or heat. ...Read more

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Ice or heat is better for muscle strain ? What for joint pains heat or ice ?

Ice or heat is better for muscle strain ? What for joint pains heat or ice ?

Pain Recommendations: Ice is used acutely to limit or diminish swelling. Inflammation or swelling is a leading reason a certain tissue is painful. Heat is used to relax muscles. It is often an immediate way to relieve pain so that less oral medication is needed. For joint pain....Either of these treatments may not help much given how deep in the tissues joints are. ...Read more

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Ice or heat therapy for tmj?

Ice or heat therapy for tmj?

Depends: If you have a recently injured tmj, ice is the first thing to try. If that isn't helpful or if the injury is more than a few days old, try heat. If that doesn't help, try alternating ice and heat. If none of these help, get it looked at to make sure it doesn't require splint therapy or surgery. After evaluation, other modalities like neuromuscular massage may be helpful. ...Read more

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Ice or heat for a sciatic nerve injury?

Ice or heat for a  sciatic nerve injury?

Can be both: Ice first 24-48 hours of injury. Heat therapy after 48 hours of acute injury. ...Read more

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What's best for nerve damage, ice pack or heat pad?

What's best for nerve damage, ice pack or heat pad?

Follow rule of thumb: Unless it's a traumatic nerve injury caused by isolated surgical manipulation or other complications then, nerves are usually traumatized in the company of muscles, tendons, ligaments, bone, ; other soft tissues. Thermal therapy intervention then, should be similar to how muscle strains and sprains are treated. Ice x 72hrs followed by soothing heat ; maybe some electrical stim. If possible. ...Read more

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Heat or ice for swollen joints best?

Heat or ice for swollen joints best?

See below: If the joint is acutely hot, red and swollen, ice would be better than heat which may increase inflammation. For joints that are not hot or swollen but are painful and stiff, i find heat works better. ...Read more

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Ice or heat for a stiff neck?

Ice or heat for a stiff neck?

Ice or heat: both work well , some people will try one then find the other works better or alternate.try biofreeze too [wash hands well or can burn the eyes if touch eyes after on fingertips] try excedrin or tylenol/aleve or advil for pain too . if worse see your dr. or not better ...Read more

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Will ice / heat therapy help a strained sternum?

Will ice / heat therapy help a strained sternum?

Esophagus: After a bypass your stomach can only hold a small amount of food or liquid . Any excess stays in the esophagus . It isn't supposed to be there so the esophagus cramps up trying to force the food down . These spasms are a strong message to stop putting so much into your mouth . Please contact your primary provider to evaluate this further if it dosen't resolve soon ...Read more

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Heat or cold on dislocated shoulder?

Heat or cold on dislocated shoulder?

Cold: Ice is generally used in the "acute" setting after an injury to reduce inflammation by restricting blood flow to the area. The "acute" timeline is not truly defined but acute can be considered upto a week after injury. Afterwards both cold and heat can be used. Rememeber ice it down after irritation from injury or activity. Heat it up to initiate circulation and healing or before exercise/therapy. ...Read more

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Is ice or heat bettter for joint pain?

Is ice or heat bettter for joint pain?

Both work: Ice is typically used for acute injuries. Heat is generally used for stiffness. Using these basic guidelines, see what works best for you. ...Read more

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Ice or heat to rehab a foot after surgery?

Ice or heat to rehab a foot after surgery?

Rehab: It depends on where you are in the post operative period. Early on you will want to use ice. Later , if edema is persistent, alternating ice and heat to act as a pump is very helpful. See you surgeon as well . Good luck. ...Read more

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Can deep heat or perskindol work for rotator cuff injury?

Can deep heat or perskindol work for rotator cuff injury?

No harm: No harm in trying. More traditional deep heating techniques include ultrasound and can be soothing for any muscle injury. Soothing however does not mean it is aiding in the actual healing...Only making it more comfortable so that your body can potentially mend itself. If not improving then see your doc. ...Read more

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Would heat and/or ice be beneficial to a torn rotator cuff?

Would heat and/or ice be beneficial to a torn rotator cuff?

Ice: Typically ice would be beneficial to decrease inflammation in an affected area if you actually have a tear in the rotator cuff, ice will only decrease pain and swelling, but the ultimate treatment might be either physical therapy or surgery. ...Read more

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Ice or heat for swollen bruise on sole, what to do?

Ice or heat for swollen bruise on sole, what to do?

Ice vs heat: Ice compresses will shrink blood vessels, reducing inflammation and bleeding. Warm compresses increase blood flow and are generally more relaxing to the muscles. With acute (new) injuries, it is generally recommended to ice the first day or two. ...Read more

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Does ice or heat work better for back pain? Such as Donjoy iceman?

Does ice or heat work better for back pain? Such as Donjoy iceman?

They both can help: Ice is used for reducing inflammation which occurs most Durring the 1st 2-3 days of injury. Heat helps muscles relax and improves circulation. ...Read more

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Is it appropriate to use ice or heat on head injuries?

Depends: If the ice is used on a superficial contusion, that is fine but for any possible internal or closed head injury, the treatment is to get seen asap by a medical professional. ...Read more

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For a head bruise/contusion, how many hours after the injury can I apply heat? How many times & how many minutes each time?Use heat for how many days?

For a head bruise/contusion, how many hours after the injury can I apply heat? How many times & how many minutes each time?Use heat for how many days?

No set rules: To minimize swelling after an injury, cold applications are recommended for 24 to 48 hours and then switch to warm applications for 20 minutes every few hours. The heat increases blood supply and breaks down blood clots under skin and promotes healing. Wrap the ice and the hot packs in a towel when applying. Discontinue the warm applications when soreness improves which is usually after several day. ...Read more

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I have a neck pain issue, seeing drs/pt. Heating pad on neck makes my head instantly throb. Drs are confused. Ice is fine. Had Prednisone, no help?

I have a neck pain issue, seeing drs/pt. Heating pad on neck makes my head instantly throb. Drs are confused. Ice is fine. Had Prednisone, no help?

Uncertain ? Diagnosi: Need to know the diagnosis. We see this kind of problem in a lot of situations that you need a better diagnosis to clarify your therapy. It depends on examination the range of motion of your neck and even the muscle tone in myofascial tender points. You may well need imaging, x-rays and even injections. ...Read more

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Hi ER drs :) what are good places to ice in order to prevent/cure minor heat stroke? How's top of head, forehead, back of head, neck, armpits? Others?

Hi ER drs :) what are good places to ice in order to prevent/cure minor heat stroke? How's top of head, forehead, back of head, neck, armpits? Others?

Heat stroke : Ice is not recommended for heat stroke. The putative mechanism is that the vasoconstriction it induces may delay heat loss. Luke warm water is recommended to the entire body with more emphasis in the groin and Scilla where the deep blood vessels can help with heat dissipation ...Read more

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Is ice or heat better for possible broken jaw? Just fell off my bike

Is ice or heat better for possible broken jaw? Just fell off my bike

Get an xray: Ice will help swelling. If you are having lots of pain, any change in how your teeth fit together or numbness around your chin then you need xrays or a c/t scan to see if you've broken your jaw. ...Read more

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I have hard ridge like knot? Bump? Where I hit my forehead on a metal edge 2.5 weeks ago. What is it? Permanent? Ice? Heat? Massage?

I have hard ridge like knot? Bump? Where I hit my forehead on a metal edge 2.5 weeks ago. What is it? Permanent? Ice? Heat? Massage?

Normal.: This is how the body heals. It will take a few more weeks but the inflammation after the injury is how the body heals. Give it more time and you can just leave it alone. ...Read more

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I have a swollen gland j=on the left side of my face just below the back of my jaw. How do I treat this? Ice or heat?

I have  a swollen gland j=on the left side of my face just below the back of my jaw.  How do I treat this?  Ice or heat?

Depends: NSAID's and warm compresses in general but the issue is the cause of the lymph node swelling. If there is not an obvious cause like a sore throat, upper respiratory infection and it does not go away see your doctor. ...Read more

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Hematoma or under skin scar tissue? Hurts to push on it? On my incision. What can I do to make it feel better? Meds don't help ice/heat don't help.

Hematoma or under skin scar tissue? Hurts to push on it? On my incision. What can I do to make it feel better? Meds don't help ice/heat don't help.

Scarring: Hematomas are collections of blood underneath the skin but worse than a bruise. The skin will often have a bluish hue over the site, feel thick, and often is tender. If it's a hematoma & getting larger you should go back to see your doctor soon. Initially it is normal to feel tender & thickening under a scar but this should improve the further out you are from surgery. Massage and time will help. ...Read more

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Tripped and fell on the floor on my face&hurt my knees.Right knee has had fluid but condition has improved.Use ice or heat on it?It has been 7 days.

Tripped and fell on the floor on my face&hurt my knees.Right knee has had fluid but condition has improved.Use ice or heat on it?It has been 7 days.

Knee Derangement: Hi MirandaD, I see you feel on the floor and hurt your face and knee. The r knee had fluid but has improved over the last 7 days. Might need Xrays MRI if no improvement. I would get a knee compression brace from the pharmacy it will keep the fluid down. Prop the knee up and take the Tylenol for pain. Use ice pack if it is swelling or warmth if back to normal. Dr Lori Lange-Pennsylvania ...Read more

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Pain, upper left butt cheek. Not a cyst. Hurts to move lower body. Heat/ice doesn't help. No stretch helps. Advil=temporary relief. Lasted 3 months?

Pain, upper left butt cheek. Not a cyst. Hurts to move lower body. Heat/ice doesn't help. No stretch helps. Advil=temporary relief. Lasted 3 months?

Gluteal pain: Gluteal pain can be caused by various conditions. A few of the common ones: gluteus medius muscle strain (can cause pain in the upper outer buttock), referred pain from the lumbar spine (i.E a pinched nerve). Other causes can be piriformis syndrome, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, hip disorder, and others. Discuss with your md for a thorough history, exam, diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan. ...Read more

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Fell on my knees&nose.Hurt my wrist,nose,&knees.How many hours/days after accident do I use ice on my wrist&knees?Can I use heat towel after 7 days?

Fell on my knees&nose.Hurt my wrist,nose,&knees.How many hours/days after accident do I use ice on my wrist&knees?Can I use heat towel after 7 days?

Until swelling stops: Usual recommendation is to apply ice (never directly on skin) 20 minutes on / 20 minutes off until swelling resolves. After that, use which ever (ice vs heat) feels better. Obviously, if symptoms persist, seek medical attention to rule out fracture or other serious injury. ...Read more

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After putting ice directly on skin with heat rash, i developed itchy rash where blisters are joined red and itchy.was not itchy before it.whats this?

After putting ice directly on skin with heat rash, i developed itchy rash where blisters are joined red and itchy.was not itchy before it.whats this?

Cold urticaria: Rarely, you can develop hives due to Exposure to cold temperature. This is called cold urticaria. Though usually harmless, if the reaction affects the whole body, it could turn out to be as serious as any other allergic reaction. Please consult your doctor for some needed tests or to carry medication to deal with an emergency. ...Read more

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Hurt my jaw, used a heat pack, now have ringing in my ears. Is it possible that the heat pack has hurt my hearing or is it due to my injury to the jaw?

Hurt my jaw, used a heat pack, now have ringing in my ears. Is it possible that the heat pack has hurt my hearing or is it due to my injury to the jaw?

The jaw Injury!: Although the mechanisms are still unclear, 5-10% of all cases of tinnitus, (ringing in the ear), are felt due to head injury (jaw included. It may be a result of damage to the cochlear hair cells in the ear, but unknown. I suggest you speak with your physician. You may need further testing, or a referral to an ear, nose and throat specialist if they don't prefer to manage this type of condition. ...Read more

Dr. Eric Weisman
499 doctors shared insights

Head Trauma (Definition)

Any injury to the face, skull, or brain as a result of blunt force, or penetrating trauma. It can also occur due to rapid ...Read more