Use a heating pad or a warm towel to help relieve muscle aches and tension. Be sure not to cause yourself more pain and avoid burns by using a towel between the heating pad and your skin. As with ice, only apply heat for about 20 minutes at a time.
How long should you apply heat to a strained muscle?
One of the benefits of heat therapy is that you can apply it for longer than you can use ice. For minor aches and muscle tension, apply heat for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. If you’re treating more severe or widespread pain, longer heat sessions — such as a bath or sauna — may last from 30 minutes up to two hours.
Is heat or cold better for muscle recovery?
For reducing pain, control subjects showed a significant amount of pain the days after exercise. But cold immediately after exercise or 24 hours later was superior to heat in reducing pain. In conclusion, both cold and heat appear to be efficacious in reducing muscle damage after exercise.
How long should you apply heat?
Apply heat for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Moist heat (hot packs, baths, showers) works better than dry heat. Try an all-day heat wrap, available in pharmacies. If you are using an electric heating pad, avoid falling asleep while the pad is on.
Does heat help with sore muscles from working out?
Research has shown that heat therapy can reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) by up to 47% just 24 hours post-exercise. Like cold therapy, heat therapy is best applied immediately after a workout.
How can I speed up muscle recovery?
Your doctor may recommend the following at-home treatments:
- Rest. Rest the muscle for a few days or until your doctor gives you the okay. …
- Ice. Apply ice to the injury for 20 minutes each hour you’re awake. …
- Compression. Wrapping the muscle with an elastic bandage can help bring down swelling. …
- Elevation. …
- Medication. …
Should you massage a pulled muscle?
Massage. Therapeutic massage helps loosen tight muscles and increase blood flow to help heal damaged tissues. Applying pressure to the injured muscle tissue also helps remove excess fluid and cellular waste products. A 2012 study found that massage immediately following an injury may even speed strained muscle healing.
Does heat speed up muscle recovery?
“After the acute phase of the injury, you can use heat to help with recovery and relax muscles,” Kurtz says. “A heat pack or submersion in a hot tub may help with muscle strains and promoting range of motion.”
What is best for muscle pain ice or heat?
As a general rule of thumb, use ice for acute injuries or pain, along with inflammation and swelling. Use heat for muscle pain or stiffness.
Does ice speed up healing?
Ice is effective for reducing pain, but it doesn’t speed up the healing process or reduce inflammation. If you want a quick, medicine-free painkiller, feel free to use ice. But if you want to get back to training as soon as possible, ice fails where active recovery succeeds.
Does heat make inflammation worse?
Heat can make inflammation significantly worse. Ice can aggravate symptoms of tightness and stiffness; it can also just make any pain worse when it’s unwanted. Both ice and heat are pointless or worse when unwanted: icing when you’re already shivering, or heating when you’re already sweating.
Does heat help swelling go down?
Using the ice helps to narrow blood vessels and keeps swelling down. People who often exercise should use ice after working out, not heat. Ice will help reduce any swelling from a grueling workout routine. Heat, on the other hand, can increase swelling and prevent muscles from healing.
What does heat do to muscles?
Heat therapy. Applying heat to an inflamed area will dilate the blood vessels, promote blood flow, and help sore and tightened muscles relax. Improved circulation can help eliminate the buildup of lactic acid waste occurs after some types of exercise.
Is soreness a good sign?
All people are at risk for muscle soreness, even body builders and other professional athletes. The good news is that normal muscle soreness is a sign that you’re getting stronger, and is nothing to be alarmed about. During exercise, you stress your muscles and the fibers begin to break down.
Does a heating pad help relax muscles?
Heat therapy can be effective at managing chronic muscle pain or the stiff, sore joints affected by arthritis. Heat works by helping your muscles relax, which can alleviate both pain and stiffness. Applying heat to your muscles or joints also encourages circulation and blood flow to the area, which can reduce pain.
What’s best for muscle recovery?
- Sleep more. Sleep gives your muscles time to recover from exercise. …
- Massage. Many athletes incorporate massage in their training to reduce muscle soreness. …
- Compression garments. Wearing compression garments has become common among athletes over the past several decades. …
- Contrast water therapy. …