Posts Tagged ‘Ice’

Moist Vs Dry Heat (Part 3 in our Use of Modalities Series)

October 9, 2012

So far we have covered the use of ice and dry heat to assist in the recovery process. When we look at heat we have to remember that there are 2 kinds. Dry heat which we covered in part 2, and moist heat which we will discuss here.

Dry heat is a very good way to get circulation into the affected area. However moist heat is much more penetrating, so it must be more effective. Or is it?

Whenever I’ve used moist heat pads (aka hydrocollators) my muscles have felt suppler than using dry heat or ice. By the way, hydrocollators found in a rehab setting are kept in water at 170 degrees and will retain this heat for 20-30 minutes. In fact at home, after very long runs I have turned to sitting in a tub of hot water to assist in my recovery.

But the debate continues. Clinical studies do not support the belief that moist heat is more effective than dry heat. Moist heat gives the perception that the tissue is being heated more deeply.

A study was held by the University of Texas to find out if moist heat was more effective increasing flexibility than static stretching. Results showed significant benefits to increase hamstring flexibility when using moist heat over static stretching.

Okay so there are great benefits to using moist heat.  But what about the debate of dry vs. moist heat? Is it a matter of perception?

No matter whether it is dry or moist, heat is going to increase circulation by acting as a vasodilator which will increase the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the area it is applied to.

In summary.  When looking for the correct modality to use for soreness, pulled muscles and other strains use ice for the first 72 hours and then heat after that. Ice will reduce inflammation and heat will increase circulation so that the proper nutrients and oxygen can get back into the area. This will allow you to continue to increase your conditioning and fitness levels according to your goals.

What about you? Have you found other sources to aid in your recovery?

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Ice, Ice Baby!!!…….What do you do for recovery??

August 17, 2012

This will be the first in a series about recovery modalities. What assists your muscles during the recovery phase so that they can be ready for another workout in order to continue to increase your fitness levels?

My muscles are sore!!! ……Well how does that happen and what can you do about it?

DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is the pain felt in muscles several hours to days after strenuous exercise. DOMS is the result of ruptures within the muscle, as well as damage to the muscle’s connective tissue.

So what can you do about it?

ICE, ICE, ICE!!!!!!

I have made this recommendation to those suffering countless times. It shocks me when someone comes in the gym complaining of an injury. I ask them if they’ve iced and they just look at me with a distant stare.

But it really can be that simple.

The application of cold for the treatment of injury is widespread in sports medicine today.  Ice applied to the injured area will help prevent or reduce swelling. Which then will allow the tissues and muscle to repair quicker than if it is still fighting off the inflammation first. Ice packs, ice massage, gel packs can all be used to reduce inflammation. Hence reduce the soreness you are feeling and then allowing you to hit it hard in the weight room quicker than if you don’t bring the inflammation down.

Ice should be left in place for approximately 15-20 minutes. You won’t get any additional effect by applying it any longer.

In the future we will explore the use of heat and moist heat when recovering from one workout and getting ready for the next.

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