Q. I have always heard you should apply "ice for the first 24 hours and then heat."
Is this true? Does it apply to all injuries?
Ice acts as a "vasoconstrictor" helping to shut down the ability for the body to flood the system with fluids. By icing during the first 24-48 hours (for 20 minutes on and off for 20 minutes at a time), additional soft tissue injury can be prevented by the overflow of bodily fluid.
Heating the area, once the initial trauma period has subsided can "vasodilate" or help carry away the excess cells, blood and fluid.
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