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Heat beats ice for muscle treatment

Posted - Oct. 18, 2004 at 5:20 a.m.



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ORLANDO, Fla., Oct 16, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A study suggested Saturday continuous low-level heat wrap therapy may be effective for treatment and prevention of exercise-induced muscle soreness.

The results of the study were presented at the 17th World Conference of Family Doctors by researchers from U.S. Spine & Sport Foundation in Orlando, Fla.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is muscle soreness occurring within 24-48 hours after unusual exertion during physical activity. The muscle soreness is often caused by microscopic tearing of muscle fibers.

Study participants treated with low-level heat prior to exercising reported less pain and disability after 24 hours than those who only performed stretches. Continuous low level heat was also found better than ice for treating muscle pain in the lower back.

"This is the first time we have found a therapy to reduce, prevent, and treat DOMS of the low back muscles induced by vigorous exercise on specialized equipment," said John Mayer, Director of Research at U.S. Spine & Sport Foundation. "Simply wearing a portable heat wrap immediately prior to exercise cut pain and disability almost in half."

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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