A good rule of thumb is cold therapy for acute pain and heat therapy for chronic pain. It is recommended to use heat therapy prior to an activity to loosen up your muscles, and cold therapy afterward.
For acute pain, Soft Ice® Compression Wraps provide short-term pain relief for soft-tissue injuries. Cold compression aids in reducing swelling, bleeding, spasms and pain. Apply as soon as possible after an injury has occurred and continue for 48 to 72 hours.