We have used heat and cold therapy for years. When used correctly, they can treat swelling, pain, injury, inflammation, tension, and soreness. Clinical trials have shown this to be true. 
Ice and heat therapy are easy therapies to use on yourself, and there is not much which can go wrong, though there are certain steps which you can take to limit any further injury.
Let me explain more about when to use ice and heat therapy.
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When Not to Use Ice
How Long to Use Ice?
1. Ice packs
Useful for targeting an area of pain or swelling. Can be used to treat large areas or small areas.
Place on the affected area. Hold there or use an elastic/string to hold the ice pack in place. Use for 20 minutes.
2. Ice bath
Great for joints or whole-body recovery. Part of you can be submerged, your entire body, or somewhere in between.
Place the affected area (or your whole body) in the ice bath. Use the ice bath for 20 minutes.
Types of Heat Therapy
If you have a specific injury and need to choose between dry heat and moist heat, you can go for either. They will both work, it depends on your personal preference.
When not to use heat
Check this video for more information about hot and cold therapy.
Here's a chart to help you decide which type of therapy is right for you:
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