8 doctors weighed in:
How often should you apply heat therapy to a chronic sports injury?
8 doctors weighed in

Dr. James Chen
Sports Medicine
4 doctors agree
In brief: It depends
Ice and cooling is for acute injuries or re-exacerbation of injury to reduce inflammation.
Heat is used to loosen up muscles, relieve strains, and help prevent injuries such as muscle pulls. If used for this purpose then use heat prior to exercise. Heat can also be used for symptomatic relief such as for chronic low back pain. Frequency would depend on patient preference.

In brief: It depends
Ice and cooling is for acute injuries or re-exacerbation of injury to reduce inflammation.
Heat is used to loosen up muscles, relieve strains, and help prevent injuries such as muscle pulls. If used for this purpose then use heat prior to exercise. Heat can also be used for symptomatic relief such as for chronic low back pain. Frequency would depend on patient preference.
Dr. James Chen
Dr. James Chen
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1 doctor agrees
In brief: Both heat and ice
I seldom use heat by itself.
I use heat and ice for 10 mins. Per hour with massage of any type of topical gel such as biofreeze, cryoderm, or the old standard of tiger balm. If pain persists please have the area evaluated by a physician of the lower extremity such as a podiatrist.

In brief: Both heat and ice
I seldom use heat by itself.
I use heat and ice for 10 mins. Per hour with massage of any type of topical gel such as biofreeze, cryoderm, or the old standard of tiger balm. If pain persists please have the area evaluated by a physician of the lower extremity such as a podiatrist.
Dr. Robert Rosenstein
Dr. Robert Rosenstein
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Dr. Bernard Bach Jr
Orthopedic Surgery
In brief: Before activity.
Heat can be helpful in"loosening up" your injury, or to prepare for exercise.
After activity, you should always ice.

In brief: Before activity.
Heat can be helpful in"loosening up" your injury, or to prepare for exercise.
After activity, you should always ice.
Dr. Bernard Bach Jr
Dr. Bernard Bach Jr
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