Applying heat or ice to sore muscle aches is an effective and inexpensive self-treatment option. However, there has always been the confusion of which to use.
Following an acute injury (less than 48 hours onset) use the RICE acronym: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
Both heat and ice should only be applied for 10-15 minutes at a time. Do not use heat over an open wound, over areas of decreases sensitivity, where circulation is impaired, over tumors, and for acute injuries. Do not use ice over an open wound, if you have hypersensitivity, Peripheral Vascular Disease or Raynaud’s disease.
Whenever you are uncertain about which to apply, consult this chart.