Thank you for joining me again this evening for our nightly podcasts. I perform these podcasts in the hopes that you will be able to educate yourself on the topics discussed so you can make better informed medical decisions regarding your health in the future. I am doctor Harrison Campbell of Restoration Health a premier sugar land chiropractors office. Previously we discussed shoulder health and exercises which can be done to maintain a healthy shoulder. Tonight, we will be discussing the use of temperature changes on edema in the body.
If you ask what to do with a swollen ankle most people would tell you to put ice on it and elevate the ankle. The reasoning behind their response is usually because that was what so and so did back in the day or when I was playing sports when younger that is what was done. For sugar land chiropractors the reason behind using ice goes to the physiological changes which occur when the body temperature drops. Ice causes the cardiovascular system to go through a process called vasoconstriction. This means the blood vessel constricts or the diameter of the vessel narrows reducing blood flow. The ice further decreases the inflammatory process which further reduces the swelling in the ankle. By adding in elevation, you get gravity to help push the inflammation back towards the heart which also decreases the swelling in the ankle.
Heat, on the other hand, causes an opposite effect in the cardiovascular system. Vessels will dilate in a process known as vasodilation. This causes an increase in blood flow and would, therefore, increase the inflammatory process in the ankle. This means it is best to use ice after the initial onset of the injury to prevent complicating the injury or prolonging the recovery time.
Now if you ask sugar land chiropractors the best method for applying ice to an injury, they would discuss what is known as the fifteen on fifteen off method. This means you apply ice to the injured area for fifteen minutes followed by removing the ice for fifteen minutes. You could then repeat this process for as long as required to reduce the inflammation at the site of injury. The reasoning behind the fifteen on fifteen off method is due to the physiological response the body has to the temperature changes.
The ice as stated will cause vasoconstriction, which is beneficial in helping reduce the inflammatory process, but complications also arise. If the blood vessels constrict how best can the inflammation leave the area? This is where the ice off for fifteen minutes comes into play. Removing the ice will reduce the vasoconstriction to the blood vessels. This will increase blood flow and drive the inflammation out of the area. Applying the ice again will cause the vasoconstriction to the area again reducing the blood flow. By alternating between the ice on and ice off, we create a pumping action that will drive the inflammation faster than justice alone can. As sugar land chiropractors can tell you, by creating this pumping action in the blood vessels the inflammation can be transported away from the site of injury allowing for a faster healing response.
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Further looking into temperature changes, a general rule of thumb for the use of ice is within three days of an injury. This means that the first seventy-two hours after the injury ice is the best course of action to help reduce pain and inflammation. Beyond seventy-two hours, heat becomes the better option to continue to help the healing process. Now first and foremost this is a general rule of thumb. What I have found in my practice, Restoration Health a premier sugar land chiropractors office is that there are some patients which respond better to ice and there are some which respond better to heat after the initial seventy-two hours following the injury.
The reason for using ice in the initial seventy-two hours is to help with the initial inflammation following the injury. As sugar land chiropractors know this is the period of time where the inflammatory process is at its greatest and thus the most important phase in which to reduce it falls at this time. Recall that inflammatory responses decrease healing, which makes the reduction of the inflammation of utmost importance.
Aside from injuries resulting in the use of ice and heat, I know of a fellow college that has used temperature changes to help facilitate his own recovery from a spider bite. I do not recall the species of spider, but by using a fifteen rule of ice and heat he was able to reduce the recovery time from the bite. This fifteen fiteen rule worked similar to the fifteen on fifteen off but instead of alternating ice and no ice, he alternated ice and heat.
This enhances the pumping action created from vasoconstriction and vasodilation which in theory pushed the inflammation of the bite out of the wound faster. Instead of having vasoconstriction followed by a reduction in the vasoconstriction as the ice is removed, the application of heat allows the body to go from vasoconstriction to vasodilation from the heat. Would I or other sugar land chiropractors recommend this to patients? No, we would not. If you have suffered a bite from a spider seek medical attention to avoid complications. In this particular case, the person was a medical professional and was aware of the indications which would lead to a complication.
Thank you for joining me again this evening for another great podcast. I hope you enjoyed the discussion on temperature changes and the use of ice and heat following an injury. As always should you or someone you know require a sugar land chiropractors services or simply have more questions on what was discussed please call Restoration Health today. We would love to schedule you an appointment and get you on the path to better health today. Thank you once again for joining us. Have a good night.