While heat might feel soothing, it’s not what is best for a new injury!
An injury causes broken blood vessels. Adding heat opens these broken blood vessels even more thus creating even more swelling. The more the swelling, the longer it takes your injury to heal.
So, the best thing to do is to ice your injury for forty eight hours. That will reduce the swelling. Then, after that forty eight hours, feel free to apply heat. Heat at this stage is just what you need since the increased blood flow brings the much needed nutrients, oxygen and inflammatory healing cells.
So is inflammation bad? No. Nature has its way to heal injuries. The initial swelling naturally prevents you from using the injured area. So, you are almost forced to give it the rest it needs. And, the blood brings the white blood cells to fight infection and to clean up dead tissue. Again, the blood delivers what is needed to rebuild the injured area including new blood vessels.
It is chronic or ongoing inflammation that is a problem but that’s a completely different topic!