ice and heat fitness injuryAs fitness professionals, we are more than just trainers we are the ones who share in both the joys and sorrows of life. Sometimes that can include injuries. During our sessions, we take great care not to cause or inflict pain on our clients but with only meeting with our individuals a few hours of a week there are many hours that they are on their own and the impact of accidents or preexisting conditions can occur.

As a certified instructor, it is important to share with our clients when an injury occurs how to appropriately treat the injury. This article is dedicated to giving advice when they occur that we can help our participants be knowledgeable when they have an injury to adequately treat their condition.


Ice is generally recommended for acute injuries and those that are less than 72 hours old. Strains, tears, burning in the muscles ice is most helpful It helps ease muscle pain because it constricts your blood vessels. That keeps blood from pooling at the pain’s source, which helps you avoid extra inflammation, swelling, and pain You can use ice treatments just like you’d any other over-the-counter pain medicine.

Ice will help the inflammation but patience is the most important remembering that it might 24 and 48 hours for the swelling and redness to start to go down. Ice can be bags of regular ice from your freezer or gel packs from the store. Some people take ice baths or cold baths to help with the pain. Be sure when using packs to have material on them between the injury and not to have them over 15-20 minutes at a time. Prolonged exposure could damage the skin.


Heat is the ideal treatment for the majority of muscle pains. Pains that are longer than 72 hours and no longer inflamed are good candidates for heat. Chronic injuries such as arthritis or our ordinary aches and pains would fit under this category. Heat relaxes muscles and relieves pain. Using a heating pad, a gel pack specifically for heat is a good choice or even a short time in the hot tub or sauna. A good rule of thumb is 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off.

Last when treating injuries that are neck or lower back it is generally recommended that you use heat because ice constricts the blood flow.

Remember that ice and heat are effective treatments like over the counter medications can relieve pain but only time can truly heal injuries. If pain continues a visit to the doctor is recommended.

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Christina Chapan

Christina Chapan

Christina Lee Steele Chapan is a certified personal trainer with four certifications from ISSA ACE, AFAA and SCW. She specializes with fitness for children and those adults and children with special needs. In addition to attaining her certifications, she is also a certified elementary and special education school teacher with a B.S. in Elementary Education, a minor in Biblical Studies from North Central University, an endorsement in Special Education, and an M.A. in Curriculum and Development from Governors State University. Her passion is for training the future of tomorrow. She is available for training, speaking and writing.
Christina Chapan

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