Athletic Advantage: Heat or Cold Therapy

The saying goes "nothing is certain but death and taxes". 
    One thing is for sure, the saying can't be traced back to an athletic trainer.    
    An athletic trainer would more likely be quoted as saying "nothing is certain but injuries and soreness."
    And where there is an injury or sore muscles, there is cold and heat therapy.    
    Ice is the initial treatment for most minor injuries....a trainer will usually suggest 10 to 30 minutes intervals....
"Ice actually slows blood down and inhibits the swelling process," says athletic trainer Jeremy Woodward. 
    So when do you start to apply heat?
    "After the injury starts to heal, typically 48 to 72 hours later. Heat does just the opposite. It thins the bloods and increases the diameter of blood vessels to flow in the injured area."
    While heat serves a purpose, it seems ice is the miracle treatment. And not just after injuries.
    Athletes on the diamond have learned it can serve as preventative care too.
    "Baseballers are the icemen and softballers are the icewomen. Alot of times you get repetitive stresses on the shoulders and elbows."
    That's why you often see pitchers ice up after leaving a game.
    So my saying goes, "ice is nice, and heat can't be beat."
    You just need to know when to use what.

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