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Quick Guide: When to Use HEAT vs. ICE

8/17/15 12:46 PM
When to use ICE:
  • Ice, or a cold pack, is commonly used following trauma, such as surgery to help reduce swelling and decrease pain.
  • Ice can and should be applied following acute injuries, such as an ankle sprain, in the first 24-48 hours when swelling is persent. Ice is a vasoconstrictor, meaning that it closes off blood vessels and can help to decrease the swelling.
  • Ice also has a numbing effect. Therefore, it can also help to reduce pain. 
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Written by Jeffrey Romans.

Jeff Romans, PT is a contributing author to our blog and a great resource on Physical Therapy.

Topics: Insider, tips


3/10/15 4:52 AM
Right now...as you are reading this, how is your posture? Are your shoulders rounded forward? Is your head forward with your eyes looking down? If so, you may experience neck or shoulder pain in the future (if you are not already). 

We live in a society that is overwhelmed by technology. It is not uncommon that people spend a good amount of their day looking down at their tablet, smartphone or computer screen...

But did you know that contently looking down is affecting your spine, joints and other tissues?

When a patient comes to me with a complaint of neck, shoulder or upper back pain, the first thing I examine is their posture. Poor posture over time can lead to muscular imbalances and unnecessary stress on joints and tissues of the spine and shoulders.  For example...

  • Forward head posture with rounded shoulders yields tight pectorals (muscles of your chest) and upper trapezius and weak or lengthened rhomboids (the muscle that keeps the shoulder blades pulled back) and neck flexor muscles.
  • Forward head posture can lead to the loss of the nature curvature of your cervical or upper spine, causing decreased range of motion, pain and increased risk of damaging the discs and ligaments providing cushion and support to your spine. 
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Written by Christine Whitney.

Christine Whitney is a licensed physical therapist and contributing author.

Topics: Insider