When to apply cold in an injury

When we practice physical exercise or a sport it is usual - and something completely normal - that can be produced injuries: we can suffer a blow, a muscle or joint injury, or simply a sprain.

Precisely when the tendons, ligaments, muscles or the tissue near them are injured, it is common that the blood vessels located near the area of ​​the lesion are also damaged. As a result, it is common for hemorrhage to occur that rapidly spreads into the tissues, releasing a series of substances that ultimately tend to be the "culprits" of the inflammatory process being triggered, producing the appearance of inflammation and pain. .

This is the ideal time to apply cold, as it produces a vasoconstrictor effect that minimizes inflammation and reduces the extent of bleeding. That is, the most appropriate time to apply cold in an injury is when it has just occurred, since it allows not only to reduce inflammation but to relieve pain and muscle spasms.

The application of cold in the first 24-48 hours is ideal in case of blows, contractures, sprains and bruises; in short, for any acute injury of ligaments, muscles, tendons and bones.

Not only applies cold in case of injury ...

In addition to applying cold in case of injury, it is also useful after having practiced sports or physical exercise, as it acts as a natural anti-inflammatory, preventing the muscles or areas that have "suffered" during physical exercise to become excessively inflamed .

What is the most advisable in this case? Never apply direct cold, but submerge the legs in cold water for 10 minutes, or give yourself a cold water bath. ThemesExercise Sports injuries

Treating Injuries with Cold vs. Heat (February 2023)