Should I Use Ice?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Should I Use Ice?

When should I use ice? What’s the best way to apply it? Should I be using heat?

These are questions I hear every day. Now you have the benefit of have this document to refer to. Feel free to share it with your loved ones.

Ice is good for:

Acute Pain - pain that started suddenly and is less than 72 hours old.

Areas that are swollen, hot and red, even if older than 72 hours old.

Pain older than 72 hours could need ice (swelling), heat or a combination, so it’s best to contact an expert in these cases. 
The safest and most effective way to apply ice is explained below:

Place the ice pack in the freezer for 2 hours, or according to manufacturer’s instructions. Alternatively you may use a bag of peas/vegetables. However, it is not as effective.
Take the ice pack out of the freezer and cover it with a wet facecloth. This will protect your skin. Apply the ice directly to the site of injury. Now wrap a dry bath towel over the ice pack and body part being iced. 
Keep the ice pack on the area for 10-15 minutes. Do not exceed 20 minutes. If at any time you develop itchiness, hives or difficulty breathing cease the application of the ice and if symptoms are not improving call the office. 

Make sure you wait at least 2 hours between applications. Repeat the above steps 3 - 4 times per day if required.

If you are getting towards the end of the night and still experiencing discomfort, it is better to ice the area again one to two hours before sleeping. When you are sleeping, you aren't moving. This means that your inflammation is not moving out of your joints. Icing before sleep will reduce the potential soreness the next morning. 

When in acute pain, DO NO ‘H.A.R.M’:
No Heat
No Alcohol
No Running
No Massage

If avoiding these is not possible, at least minimise them. Regular light movement is recommended.

What our Clients say

"Having had several years of chronic back and neck pain, after receiving treatment I generally feel freer of pain – more flexible, less stiff and now have coping strategies if pain occurs in between visits. Chiropractic care has freed up my back so I’m better able to play sport. I suffer less pain when undertaking my sedentary job. Everyone is very friendly and I know that when I leave I will feel better than when I arrived. Since coming to see Grant, I feel much more positive about my back health – now and in the future."

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