Cold and compression are used simultaneously to reduce swelling and is the recommended therapy within the first 72 hours of an injury. If the injury is severe, cold can be applied 2-3 times in a row with a 30 minute rest in between each application. This type of treatment can be repeated several times a day. Swelling must be reduced before full recovery can occur. Once the swelling has subsided, applying heat can help reduce aches and pains, and increase blood circulation which promotes healing. One should limit the application of heat to no more than 20-30 minutes at a time, four times a day.
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