You must have heard of “ice packs.” Whether it is a traumatic injury, a sporty lame, or even professional training, we can see people using ice or ice water on the surface of the body to relieve pain, relieve symptoms and accelerate recovery. But you may not know that ice is used as a kind of cold compress, and there are many details and precautions. Incorrect ice application will not only achieve the therapeutic effect, but will aggravate the condition and even cause more serious consequences.
What is the role of ice?
Ice is mainly applied to the skin and deep tissues through low temperature to reduce bleeding, reduce inflammation, relieve swelling and pain, and is most commonly used in the acute phase of inflammation caused by trauma. In addition, these effects may also reduce secondary damage, ischemia, and damage to other structures.
How to make the right ice
Specialized medical ice packs are generally sold in hospitals and pharmacies. Start the ice immediately after the injury, the sooner the better. The location of the ice is the surface of the skin where the redness and heat are painful. If the range is large, the ice pack can be moved slowly during the ice application to ensure full ice. It is important to note that ice packs or ice cubes should not be in direct contact with the skin and ice should be applied.
Ice time is not as long as possible. Under normal circumstances, it is recommended to apply ice for about 20-30 minutes each time. You can choose to continue to apply ice for 20-30 minutes, or you can choose to apply ice for 10 minutes, 10 minutes each time, 3-4 times a day, or cold treatment every hour. The more frequently ice is used, the more likely it is to effectively reduce the inflammatory process.
When do you choose ice?
Acute injury (no wounds) such as sports training, bumps and strains, twisting your feet, and applying ice within 48-72 hours of acute injury. Do not apply heat. Chronic injury, especially fatigue and degenerative damage, such as lumbar muscle strain, frozen shoulder, etc., choose hot compress as appropriate.
Adverse reactions to ice
The adverse reactions of ice are mainly frostbite and nerve damage. Therefore, the time of each ice application should be limited to 20-30 minutes, and skin examination and sensory evaluation are often performed. Because ice will shrink blood vessels and have some effect on the nerves, it is recommended that the following people avoid ice:
● There are various types of peripheral vascular diseases, such as the most common type of diabetes.
● High sensitivity to low temperature and severe hypothermia-induced urticaria.
● Raynaud’s syndrome (vasospasm).
● Feeling impaired or abnormal.
● Paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria.
● Ice is applied locally after flap surgery and when the incision has not healed after surgery.
If you have any questions before applying ice, be sure to consult a professional doctor. Do not decide for yourself.