On-Ice Therapy for Aches, Pains and Minor Injuries

On-Ice Therapy for Aches, Pains and Minor Injuries

Ice is one of the most widely used, efficient, simplest, safest, and most effective self care technique for injury, pain, or discomfort in muscles and joints in medicine today.

Ice can decrease muscle spasms, pain, and inflammation to bone and soft tissue. It is safe, effective, and cheap. Ice therapy (cold therapy, cryotherapy) relieves pain and slows blood flow to the injury. This reduces internal bleeding and swelling. The key is to start icing as soon as possible after the injury. If not, inflammation will set in and cause pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function.You can use ice initially at the site of discomfort, pain, or injury. You can also apply ice in later stages for rehabilitation of injuries or chronic (long-term) problems.

When there is injury or discomfort, a good rule to follow for first aid is the mnemonic word "RICE":

R - Rest the injury.

I - Ice the injury.

C - Compress the injury.

E - Elevate the injury above your heart.

If you have a sore back ice massages can help provide relief for back pain in a number of ways, including:

  • Ice application slows the inflammation and swelling that occurs after injury. Most back pain is accompanied by some type of inflammation and addressing the inflammation helps reduce the pain
  • Ice massage therapy decreases tissue damage
  • Ice massage therapy numbs sore tissues (providing pain relief like a local anesthetic)
  • Ice massage therapy slows the nerve impulses in the area, which interrupts the pain-spasm reaction between the nerves

Apply the ice for about 15 minutes every 2 hours. This will vary depending on the size of the area and depth of the tissue. This can be reduced gradually over the next 24 hours

Ice massage therapy is most effective if it is applied as soon as possible after the injury occurs. The cold makes the veins in the tissue contract, reducing circulation. Once the cold is removed, the veins overcompensate and dilate and blood rushes into the area. The blood brings with it the necessary nutrients to allow the injured back muscles, ligaments and tendons to heal.

Even as great as ice therapy can be some precautions are necessary when treating an injury with ice. Do not leave ice directly on the skin. Keep it moving or wrap it in a wet towel. To avoid skin damage, stop icing once the skin is numb.

Do not use ice on blisters or open wounds. People hypersensitive to cold or who have a circulation problem should not use ice. Be careful icing the elbow or knee. The nerves in these areas can be damaged by icing too long.

You shouldn't use ice if you have the following conditions: rheumatoid arthritis, Raynaud's Syndrome, cold allergic conditions, paralysis, or areas of impaired sensation. Do not use ice directly over superficial nerve areas.



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