Another way to apply ice is using a package of frozen peas. However, it is important to remember that if peas are used, they should not be left for consumption. Or you can buy some well-prepared ice packs from pharmacies. Use a combination of ice and heat about 48 hours after an injury. Either alternate cold and hot packs for 10 minutes, or try a contrast bath. Fill two buckets, one with cold water and some ice, and the other with tolerably hot water.
It’s in your best, short-term interests to see from that eye for the rest of the fight. Interestingly, there are still times when using ice makes sense. Furthermore, Gary Reinl suggestions ice can make surrounding cells more ‘leaky’ leading to greater congestion and swelling – not less. For these reasons, it’s typical for an inflamed area to feel hot, look red and swollen and be tender.
How Ice Packs Are Used?
After suffering an acute injury, such as a mild sprain or strain, the RICE technique can help dull pain, minimize swelling, and expedite the recovery process. Over-the-counter medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can also be used to help with pain and swelling. Ice packs are often used after injuries like ankle sprains have occurred. Applying an ice pack early and often for the first 48 hours will help minimize swelling, and decreasing swelling around an injury will help to control the pain. Ice treatments may also be used for chronic conditions, such as overuse injuries in athletes. In this case, ice the injured area after activity to help control inflammation.
There are five main signs of inflammation, one of which is swelling. Swelling or edema is an indicator that the inflammatory process is taking place, not the inflammatory response itself. Inflammation IS VERY IMPORTANT in the healing process and diminishing the inflammatory response only delays healing and should therefore be discouraged. However, limiting the swelling, a possible waste product of inflammation may be advantageous. Avoid NSAIDs, avoid ice, elevate, start range of motion as soon as you can.
When To Use Heat Or Cold For Injuries
Massage, gentle movement and muscle re-activation are far more beneficial to optimize recovery. The idea of compression for swelling also needs discussion. Not only does local compression limit the movement of fluid coming into the area but it will also limit the movement of fluid going out as well. It’s impossible to selectively compress the ‘in’ vessels and not the ‘out’ ones. Compression bandages, compression socks, and stocking may not be the most effective way to overcome swelling. As a Physiotherapist, I stopped using ice to treat injury over 5 years ago now, and I couldn’t be more impressed.
Within this research they have shown fairly consistently that effusion effects motorneuronal activity and reduces muscle function. Importantly, they have also demonstrated that ice seems to reverse this. Unfortunately we are limited to these three studies solely examining cryokinetics. Although no randomized controlled trials exist to date, these three studies all report improved outcome with cryokinetics. This may not be ideal, but ultimately all reported studies investigating cryokinetics highlight positive outcomes.
Also, go to an ER if the ankle is completely numb or if you cannot bend the ankle joint. These are signs of a torn ligament, and the ankle may need to be surgically treated to repair the bones and ligaments in the ankle. If you’re not capable of driving yourself, ask a friend or family member to take you, or call 911 for an ambulance. There is an important point to add that I may do a separate blog on shortly. There is a body of research, mainly by JT Hopkins, on the effects of effusion on muscle function.
When To Ice
Wrapping an ice pack or bag of ice in a towel to prevent direct contact with the skin generally does the trick. It’s important to apply ice to the area immediately following an injury. Ice or ice packs will cause blood vessels to constrict and reduce blood supply to the injury. Reducing blood flow to the area minimizes swelling after an injury. Ice may be necessary for the first few days following an acute injury to prevent swelling.
In some cases, gel packs may be more effective than traditional heat packs, due to their ability to form around the joint and penetrate tissues. Ice therapy is typically used for shorter periods of time than heat therapy. Effective cold therapy involves multiple daily treatments, up to 20 minutes at a time. Remember, icing a sprained ankle, strain, or any injury for longer than 20 minutes at a time is not recommended. Some individuals may need just a single daily treatment while more severe sprains and strains may require multiple daily ice therapy applications. To prevent skin burn, individuals should place a layer of material between the skin and the ice pack or ice product.
It also reduces inflammation and is good for sore or achy muscles from an intense workout or movement. Heat relaxes muscles and allows blood vessels to expand and deliver more oxygen and nutrients to an injured area. If the injury includes open wounds or cuts, avoid heat because it promotes more bleeding. Also, as Tom has outlined, the work by Hopkins has shown that the ice can disinhibit the arthrogenic muscle inhibition of the quadriceps. This again in turn will enable the active movements to take place, and this may also provide a rationale for the use of ice over other analgesics such as paracetamol. After arriving home from work , I was greeted with an erupting debate on Twitter.
Here’s how to choose between using ice or heat for pain. Ice packs should be applied to the injured area as soon as possible. They should then be reapplied three or more times per day for the first few days, for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. If your injury requires physical therapy or a doctor evaluation, visit JOI.net, call 904-JOI-2000,.or click below.
By avoiding ice, we can now see injuries that typically take a month, settle in as little as a few weeks. All just by assisting the body to do what it’s always been trying to do – and not getting in its way. In everyone’s defense, using ice to effect swelling, inflammation, and pain does make sense on some level – particularly if we see them as bad.
So we should avoid it where possible when recovering from injury. Determining when to use ice or heat therapy can be complicated. To assist, we’ve answered below some of the most frequently asked questions about when to ice and when to heat acute injuries and chronic conditions.
By heating an injury we run the risk of driving too much fluid to the area. This is problematic if we don’t also increase the rate at which we remove that fluid. Otherwise, we’ll see increased swelling and delayed progression of healing. Certainly, there are exceptions to these rules of thumb and some injuries may respond more appropriately to a combination of both ice and heat therapy. Often caused by falls, trauma, or injury, bone and joint injuries can sometimes be serious enough to require surgery.
Usually, the answer comes back to the ice of ice, and a lack of adequate movement. We’ve long thought that ice does speed up healing by limiting swelling and inflammation. However, these processes are actually needed for healing to occur. Using ice to treat injury is similar to pressing pause on the healing process, thus actually making it take longer than it should.