Personal Home Care Advice (A MUST DO Its PART OF YOUR CARE)

It is important to follow this advice which is commonly given once you have been seen by your chiropractor. It is important not to apply cryotherapy/ice treatment to your injury unless instructed to do so by your chiropractor. This advice is given after your consultation. In some cases, ice could be contraindicated (the wrong thing to do).


Why ice and not heat?

We all have done it, put heat over an area which is injured or painful. Physiologically the body when injured releases inflammatory cells (blood vessels open up allowing a leak of inflammatory cells) which cause swelling, pain and stiffness. It’s a cleaver reaction to protect the site of injury. Heat increased the size of blood vessels which increases inflammation, when there is an injury we want to reduce the swelling and pain and close the blood vessels. Ice should not be used in cases where you have vascular conditions; vascular impairment, hypertension, raynaud/rheumatoid arthritis, hypersensitive skin conditions or broken skin.


Advantages of cryotherapy/ice:

  1. Reduces swelling/inflammation, pain.

  2. Helps to block/numb pain.

  3. Less pain, improved movement over time allows the injured site to heal faster whilst you are having your chiropractic care.

  4. Can be used as a preventative when you have over done it.


Your chiropractor will advise you to:

  1. Purchase a proper ice pack; one that is of a correct size and is a gel ice pack which stays cool for longer.

  2. A cover for the ice pack, normally a thin tea towel so that the ice does not burn your skin.

  3. Ice for 15- 20 minutes in most cases, in some cases 30 minutes if your problem is severe, once the ice has been on for a duration advised place it back in the freezer for one hour. Repeat again as advised.

  4. Ice is to be used as often as possible in the first 1-2 weeks daily as advised in point 3 above.

  5. Life is busy, a minimum use of ice must be no less than 3 times a day.


Active Rest.

In the old days we were advised bed rest. This was not the best advice as movement helps your injury/problem by increasing circulation. Blood carries the bodies healing properties and with safe movement circulation occurs which helps to heal tissues which need to recover from an injury.


Your chiropractor will advise you to:

Move often; every 10-15 minutes.

Change you postures e.g. walk, stand, sit and lay.

Revolve in these 4 postures every 10-15 minutes to keep mobile and boost healing.

Keep your ice pack in the freezer at all times, it’s for you to use at any time if you need it.


Support Aids.

Support aids whilst you have an acute injury can be used to help protect an injured joint/area. Support reduces strain on injured tissue. Stabilising an injury prevents further damage to injured tissue which helps you to heal without further aggravation to the injury. Your chiropractor will advise you on how and when to use support.



Heat will be advised should you be diagnosed with a muscle injury. Heat can be used 2 days after injury. Ice should be used after an injury for 2 days to reduce swelling and pain in the muscle, injury should be reviewed and if advised by your chiropractor heat can be applied to help increase circulation to the muscle boosting the healing. Heat should never be used across joint injuries.