For information on pregnancy and on incontinence, please visit the Pelvic page (above right).
For rotator cuff strengthening, please scroll down.
To Ice or Not to Ice...and What About Heat?
- Only ice – not heat -- should be applied in the first 72 hours following injury, for ONLY 2-3 minutes, wrapped in a slightly damp towel (the damp towel prevents frostbite).
- Combine with elevation above heart level and compression when possible
- Ice every hour or two during the daytime for the first 72 hours post-injury
- If you don’t feel like 2-3 minutes is long enough, remove the ice for 10 minutes, then re-apply for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove ice right away if the area becomes numb – even if it has been less than 2 minutes
- People with circulation issues, Reynaud's disease, or Rheumatoid arthritis should not use ice
- Do not place ice over open wounds
- 72 hours after the injury, it is safe to try heat for 10 minutes. Moist heat penetrates deeper than dry heat.
- If you feel better with heat, keep using it no longer than 20 min. at a time, every two hours as needed.
- Do not fall asleep with a heating pad on or wear a hot pack all day. More than 20 minutes at a time can damage your skin in the long-term and make you less likely to benefit from heat application in the future.
It is actually quite complex. First, the upper and lower fibres of trapezius should be balanced as needed, to stop any impingement of the rotator cuff and biceps tendons. And the rotator cuff muscles should be lengthened if needed, THEN strengthened. Feedback from your physiotherapist is required to make sure that the lower fibres of trapezius do not dominate over the external rotators. And optimally, proper alignment of the shoulder blades should also be learned in order to lessen impingement. This is why we call it the Should Girdle Complex - the health of the rotator cuff muscles involves much more than the ball and socket joint. It seems complicated, but a physiotherapist with training and experience in muscle balance such as myself can easily guide you. Book today!