The most common treatment for winter sports is ice or heat application – it is the most  accessible method of reducing pain and inflammation.

Do you know when to use ice and heat on your netball injuries? Still shooting your shot with one or the other and having no luck reducing inflammation? Well, we’re about to reveal all, so your next match is another win on the ladder. 

A common question we receive from the Diamonds team players when they first visit us is whether icing or heating their injury is the answer. These treatment options are among the most commonly used to help reduce pain for winter sports athletes – so we’re breaking it down just for you so you can flex your physio muscles before you hit the court!

Here’s the deal: 

  • Ice helps reduce inflammation and numb pain
  • Heat helps relax muscles and stiff joints
  • Ice reduces blood flow therefore reducing inflammation and swelling
  • Heat helps improve circulation and blood flow


A quick guide on ice treatment:

Ice packs should be used for acute injuries. If you have a recent injury (within the last 48 hours) and you’re experiencing swelling – ice is your best friend. Ice packs can help minimise swelling, reduce bleeding into your tissues and the prominence of muscle spasms and pain.

If you’ve sprained your ankle in a recent netball game, then get an ice pack on there right away!

Ice packs may also be used for chronic conditions after activity (acute or chronic conditions), such as overuse injuries experienced by netball players. In this case, ice the injured area after activity to help control inflammation. If you’ve got a chronic injury, we advise you to avoid icing it before activity.

Our hottest (cold) tip for players: You should only use ice for 15-20 minutes at a time for optimal results.


A quick guide on heat treatment:

Heat treatments for chronic conditions should help relax tight muscles and relieve aching joints. Heat is particularly effective in improving the movement of a joint that might be giving you some grief! Likewise, heat is a star when it comes to relieving inflamed joints caused by arthritis.

We recommend avoiding heat treatments after activity, after acute injury or where swelling is concerned. Heat therapy can be used for a longer period than ice treatment, but it is highly effective within 15-20 minutes.

Our hot tip for players: “Warm up, cool down.” If in doubt, apply heat before and ice after your netball game or training session.


If you’re experiencing prolonged discomfort on or off the court after following our ice or heat treatment tips, get in touch with our team on tel:1300 381 207. We’re here to empower you to be active and pain-free so you can reach your full potential.