- Never put heat on an area immediately following an injury. Use ice applications on and off for the first 24-72 hours, or until swelling subsides.
- When using either heat or ice, utilize the on and off routine: On for 15-20 minutes and off for 15-20 minutes.
- After the first 24-72 hours, you may begin to alternate between ice and heat. The rule is to begin and end with ice during this period: 15-20 minutes of ice, 15-20 minutes of neither, 15-20 minutes of heat, 15-20 minutes of neither, and 15-20 minutes of ice again. Repeat this as often as possible.
- As long as you are using the proper type of therapy, and continue to alternate on and off, there is no limit to the number of treatments that can be applied.
- Never sleep on an electric heating pad. You can burn yourself, plus you can cause swelling to the area over prolonged usage.
- If you become stiff, swollen or painful after using heat, wait 15 minutes and then apply ice. Continue with only ice, on and off, for 24-72 hours.
- When using ice packs, be careful of frost bite. It is best to use a gel pack that stays soft in the freezer, and insulate it with a towel.
- If you become sore following a spinal adjustment, return to ice if you are using heat or alternating. Always inform your doctor if soreness arises from a treatment.
- If you are unsure of wheat you should or shouldn't do, do not hesitate to contact your doctor.
- There are many good topical analgesics available. Our office uses and recommends Biofreeze.
- Never use heat immediately after applying Biofreeze.
- Never apply Biofreeze under tight garments or supports.
- Keep Biofreeze away from your eyes and always wash your hands when you have finished applying it.
- There are times when bed rest is necessary. During this time, try to lie either on your back with several pillows under your knees, or on your side with a pillow between your knees.