Ice or Heat after tweaked muscle?

January 4, 2012

William Mansford has asked me the following question and wanted me to explain my answer.

Would you place Ice or Heat after tweaking a muscle during half time of a football match to help carry on in the second half?

Hi William,

First of all, “tweaking a muscle” is not disimilar to a pulled/strained muscle tear. In this instance i would go for ice. Why? When a muscle “tweaks” an increase in bloodflow occurs to the affected area and an inflammatory pathways sets up. Ice will cause local vasoconstriction to the blood vessels and will help to limit and slow the bleeding down which will promote the formation of clots to help tissue repair.
Heat may give the body mixed signals and cause vasodilation, increasing even more blood flow to the area.
I would recommend you follow the RICE guildlines for any acute muscle problem. I would also as a precurtion, advice you not to continue in the second half.

Thanks for the query

Hope this helps!