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Ice or heat?

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Recovery Area' started by Gum168, Feb 28, 2011.

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  1. Gum168

    Gum168 Member

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    I keep wondering what's the difference between ice and heat? When I hurt, I prefer heat over an ache, so is it damaging if everyone keeps saying ice?

    I understand ice in the first couple of weeks, to reduce swelling, bleeding, imflamation etc, but now, is it really any better than heat? Especially when I get more relief from a heat pack. We have those seed filled bags you put in the microwave, they're long enough to wrap around 1/2 my upper thigh/hip.

    I did have a lot of muscle spasm problems with the impingement if my hip got stuck, and the GP recommended heat to ease the thigh spasms, not sure now if it's appropriate for post surgery though. Not immediately after, but 3-4 + weeks on.

    Any opinions and experiences welcome.
  2. Josephine

    Josephine Forum Admin and Mother Hen Administrator

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    Basically, go with whatever works for you. But remember that there are occasions when heat can make an issue with swelling worse as it draws blood into the area. But some people prefer it to ice. You choose.
  3. Jaycey

    Jaycey Moderator

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    Kim, I find if I am trying to ease muscle spasms heat works better for me as well. But post-op to ease the swelling ice does wonders. There is lots of trauma to areas post-op. The pain isn't really that muscle pain.
  4. Gum168

    Gum168 Member

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    Thanks. So I won't do any harm using heat at this stage if it works for me. That's what I needed to know.

    I'm not sure what's giving me trouble at the moment. This evening I have an almightly ache over the sacroilliac area. But I have been limping around a bit in the house since my walk earlier, I think it's my wonky gait when I limp that does that. Just sat down after dinner and sent hubby off to zap my heat packs in the microwave. Not going to move now until bedtime. Glee on TV tonight, very cheery. Total mush, but very uplifting so I'm sure I'll feel better then. :biggrin::biggrin:
  5. Josephine

    Josephine Forum Admin and Mother Hen Administrator

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    No harm - try it and see if it works. Always go with what works!
  6. referee54

    referee54 Moderator

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    Eventually, I got to the point where i would use a heat pack before my exercises to loosen up the muscles---then i would ice afterward. As Jo pointed out, heat brings blood flow and such to the muscles and ice keeps the fluids at bay. Go with what works for you.
  7. Gum168

    Gum168 Member

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    That's a good idea, never thought of that. I'll try it. Thanks.
  8. Jaycey

    Jaycey Moderator

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    I have been suffering in the same area lately. Osteopath says it's due to walking at an angle for so long before my THR. Heat is lovely for this.

    Hope you are feeling a bit better now!
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