Generally advice on heat and Ice conforms to simple rules.
If the injury is Hot and Swollen or is acute (i.e. 24 to 48 hours old) then ice is the idea. It primaily is designed to reduce swelling/oedema, reduce heat, and to stop further bleeding into the damaged or surrounding tissue site.
If the injury is an old one (chronic in nature) then heat will help ease it. Heat is good for muscles that feel overworked, however if your injury responds badly to the type of therapy (ice/Heat) then it is wise to contact me for personal advice.
Whilst a big hot bath may sound appealing, it is often difficult to get back out of if you have an acute lower back injury.
Certain medications are unwise with different types of injury. Avoid adding aspirin to your therapy if there is any bleeding /bruising or fresh acute trauma. It can make the area bleed further by reducing clotting. Studies have shown that NSAIDS (anti inflammatory meds) may have an negative effect on tissue healing if used to early in acute injury.
Products like Antiflamme (in the Purple Pot) can give some ease with injury. However please ensure that any wheat bags/ hot packs are not put on the skin directly after as they may produce a skin irritation or burn. I recommend using the heat pack first then the antiflamme if you are going to use topical anti inflammatories.
Heat and/or Ice??