Can I sleep on ice or heat?


Dr. Sean Gimbert:

Another common question I want to go through today is, is it alright if I sleep on an ice pack, or is it alright if I sleep on my heating pad [Can I sleep on Ice or Heat]? It feels good. The short, long short question. We’re going To start with that. No. I do not want you to do that. The long question, I’m going to go into that, why? So why we don’t want to do that is because if we’re talking about a heating pad or an ice pack, we have a very short window of time
where we should apply that to the body. That therapeutic beneficial window is from fifteen to twenty minutes. After that time, the heat or the ice is going to start working
against us and can actually cause you harm.

So I don’t know if you’ve ever done this, but if you’ve had, a backache or a neckache, then you’ve laid down on your bed, put the heating pad on, and you’re tired and you just happen to fall asleep. This happens quite often with my patients. Just inadvertently,
they don’t mean to but they fall asleep on it and then you get up, you actually feel worse. So why does that actually happen?

Because if you’re continually heating the body at an increased temperature for, let’s say, six to eight hours, depending on how long you sleep, that increased heat is going to bring so much blood flow to the area that it’s actually going to cause more swelling, more tenderness, and more fluid in that area, which is going to ultimately make you feel really bad when you wake up.

The same thing can happen if you are laying on an ice pack or one of those
mechanical devices that continually recirculate cold water to an area. We do not want to leave it on for any more than twenty minutes because, again, that ice can cool the tissues, cool the cells, that body part so much to where blood flow decreases to a point
where the cells start to become injured. It’s like, you know, you’re not hypothermic in that area, but your body, it’s very sensitive to cold as well.   You’re going to you’re
going to wake up with more pain, more stiffness if you do that. So the short answer is no, we do not want to do that.

Now watch our other video on our ice or heat recommendations [Click HERE], and that’ll give you all the information you need to know and how to get started and answer the to fully answer the question “Can I sleep on ice or heat?”


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