Heat or Cold ??

Excuse me if this question has been asked a million times before but here goes anyway !! :oops:

I am a regular and after 4 months on the biff following car accident I am getting myself back on the road to fitness.

I am currently doing 40 press ups 40 sit-ups every day with a 3 mile run monday wednesday and friday.
Tabbing 4 mile at 15 min mile pace carrying 25 Kg Tuesday and Thursday.

The problem I am having is sore muscles :wink: especially calfs and lower back.

Yes I am cooling doing and stretching off but think my 30 year old body not recovering like it used to 8O
What is the best thing to do,

a) Hot bath with some radox or similar.
b) Ice pack/one of those gel pack jobbies you can freeze.

I am drinking plenty through the day as well as trying one of these Lucozade recovery drinks.
I'd only sujest using ice on an injury like a twisted knee etc. A hot bath is nice and relaxing so is probs a good idea, cold showers are also good as the cause the blood vessels to contract and quite litteraly "squeeze" the blood out of your muscles, taking with it all the lactic acid, so when you do warm up you get "nice new blood". Had a nazi rugby coach that made us do this and it helps to stop muscles aching later on (makes your balls mind...). I've heard of squaddies kneeling in ice to help with shin splints as well, which could also help.

Hope this helps, you might try the Med/QA forum as well.

If you're running any distance, and find you're getting lactic acid build up - i.e. the ache you get the day after. Then the only cure is a cold bath for as long as you can stand it.

Trust me, its way better than anything hot and will deal with any residual lactic acid build up in the muscles. Paula Radcliffe also sears by it, so can't be bad. But be careful if you sustain any sort of injust whilst training, then you want a local hot then cold on the injured area to reduce the swelling.

I ide suggest an ice cold bath after exercise! this should reduce DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness), whih is what you are evidently suffering with. Pretty much every pro rugby team do this after games & training...so its not bullshiiite!
When playing rugby at representative level we used to have wheelie bins filled with ice-cold water. In you popped for as long as you could handle and then nice hot shower. Did the trick every time.
Now for the boring medical answer!!!

There are two processes at work with the type of ache you are describing:

1. Lactic acid build up. The amount of lactate you produce will depend on how much anaerobic exercise your muscle has done. So level of muscle fitness (which will have developed a good blood vessel network) and time are important. Heat may be useful after exercise ie. a hot bath, as it will cause peripheral vessel dilation and encourage lactic acid washout (it needs to get to the liver to be processed). Definately not cold as you may cause the very opposite....constriction of vessels and increasing anaerobic metabolism even in the resting muscle. Just because the cold bath may down regulate your pain receptors response to lactate doesn't take it away!

2. Muscle fibre injury. This is a natural response to muscle use...as the damaged muscle will repair itself to be stronger and more able to cope with the exercise next time. Heat may help the healing process by encouraging blood flow to the muscle (again by dilalation of vessels) thus bringing the vital nutrients to the site of repair. Cold is again only likely to decrease blood flow and delay healing.

So....by all means use heat as it 'may' help. Cold however should only be used on an acute injury for the first 8-10 hours post injury...ie. a twisted joint....to reduce pain and decrease the inflammatory response to the injury and even this indication has been debated within sports medicine of late!

Heat good...cold bad!

But people will still do what feels right for them

:D Thanks for the advice all especially The Doc, well you made it sound like you knew what you were on about anyway :wink:

Yes I have been putting a bit of ice for about 15 minutes on lower back and each calf followed by half hour soak in hot bath followed by (and I know this sounds chippy as fook) lying on front with legs bent at knees, 90 degree, and getting missus to give each leg a shake for 2 minutes as apparently a mate told me this helps get rid of lactic acid that can build up ( blood pooling I think he called it)

Thanks again for the replies and I am now off to check out that web site,

Cheers :)
remedialtherapy said:
I'd suggest that if you are suffering that you see a sports masseuse to help with the draining of the lactic and for the repair of the torn muscle fibres, but then I would say that wouldn't I? ;)
Nice website. Shit you're hot in that photo! Sheesh :D
oldagecrafty said:
Tabbing 4 mile at 15 min mile pace carrying 25 Kg Tuesday and Thursday.

Thats not tabbing thats bimbling get it down to 10 min miles and then you can say its tabbing

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