Ice or Heat?

Essentially, the chiropractors will recommend this to you if you need it during your healing process. Please follow your chiropractor’s recommendation.

During initial or acute injury / pain, inflammation sets in as a first stage reaction. This inflammation may be decreased by using ICE. A great example is a sprained ankle. Swelling and pain almost immediately sets in, causing significant stiffness and pain. Ice can be used in the area to decrease swelling and pain in an acute case. However, using ice as long term for an injury may not be the right solution!

Inflammation is your body’s way of protecting an area of injury so that it can start to heal. Ice can be used initially to give you pain relief, but for a long term solution. Rest, introduction of movement and stretching will be your best solution!

*n.b if you ice a tight muscle or muscle in spasm, you may cause the muscle to tighten up further and cause more tightness and pain!


Heat is very effective for sore and tight muscles as it causes blood vessels to open bringing in more blood and nutrients to the muscle to stimulate healing. It also has a soothing effect for muscle spasms and pain.

However, please note mild heat is sufficient for effect. Using excessive heat to an area may cause burns!

Because heat brings more blood flow to the area, when used in acute injury such as sprains, it may increase swelling in the area!

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