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Health Forum    First Aid
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Additional Details
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Need Answers
I used a hot compress when I should have used a cold compress what do I do now?
I hurt my back and there was some swelling. I put a hot compress (icyhot) only to learn I should have done a cold compress. What should I do now? The swelling has increased. Can I just switch to cold compress or by doing so it will now make it worse?

What ever one make you feel better. The cold one will contract it. So you might want to put ice on it to take down the swelling

cowabunga mama
Switch to cold if it has been less than 72 hours and you can keep it from swelling any more. You should put ice on an injury intermittently (on 15 min., off 5 min., repeat) for the first 72 hours. The first hour or two are the most crucial. After that you can decrease the application of cold to what is comfortable/convenient for you, but the more you apply it the less swelling will develop.

After 72 hours you switch to heat. It won't swell anymore and the goal now is to get oxygen to the area to heal it. Heat will dilate the blood vessels so more blood/oxygen will be able to get to the swollen area.

No, if you have swelling, switch! It's not too late to bring the swelling down.

Yes, just switch to the cold compress as soon as you can.

Heat tends to increase swelling, cold to decrease it. But you haven't done any lasting damage.

You'll be alright, just use cold compress but remember, not to apply it directly to the skin, put a towel on your back first and no more than a couple of minutes at a time, you don't want to trade the back injury for frost bite.

The cold will decrease the swelling. Go ahead and ice down your back.

Yes, you can switch to icy pack, not a problem, when you have any kind of an injury you should use ice packs, if you don't have one use a frozen bag of peas or corn also take an anti inflammatory such as Ibuprofen. Let me explain when you have an injury your blood rushes to it saying I am going to fix it. In fact what it does is cause more harm, it heats it up and swells up, if you put an ice pack on it, the blood then says man that is cold sorry about your luck I am out of here. That promotes healing. So go back and use ice and take an anti inflammatory. That will help, see your chiropractor as well. Good luck hon

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