Ask A PT! Ice or Heat?

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Q. Should I use ice or heat for pain?

A: Ice is generally recommended for the treatment of acute inflammation. Within the first 48 hours of an injury, ice will help to limit inflammation. During this time, you should avoid heat. After that, you can use ice or heat based on whichever one makes you feel better. After 48 hours, heat for the neck and back and ice for joints is recommended more often than not.