Should I treat foot and ankle injuries with ice or heat Any foot or ankle injuries should be treated with ice, rather than heat. Injuries will cause inflammatory cells to migrate to that area, causing pain, stiffness, and swelling. Ice will cause the blood vessels to constrict or get smaller, thereby reducing inflammation. In contrast, heat to these areas will cause increased blood flow, and even though it may feel good at first, will cause the area involved to swell even more and eventually become more painful. Applying heat will also increase.