Ice Bag For Pain Relief
- 1 How long to use ice pack for pain?
What is best for pain relief ice or heat?
When to treat pain with ice vs heat – Heat and ice are both considered an inexpensive, easy-to-use treatment option for injuries and pain. But in the moments or even days after an injury, people often forget which choice provides the most benefit. Michael Behr, M.D.
- An orthopaedic surgeon at Piedmont, says there is really no right or wrong answer, but he says ice is typically used for acute or recent injuries, while heat is used for muscular and chronic pain.
- Ice is a great choice for the first 72 hours after an injury because it helps reduce swelling, which causes pain.
Heat, on the other hand, helps soothe stiff joints and relax muscles. However, neither option should be used for more than 10 to 15 minutes at a time.”
How long to use ice pack for pain?
Using an ice or cold pack Apply an ice or cold pack to the injured or sore area at least 3 times a day for as long as you have pain, swelling, and inflammation. For the first 72 hours, ice for 10 minutes, once an hour.
Why does ice feel good on pain?
When to Ice – Icing an injury typically takes place immediately after the injury occurs. Using a cold compress or ice pack on a strained muscle can decrease inflammation and numb pain in the area. Icing is effective at reducing pain and swelling because the cold constricts blood vessels and decreases circulation to the area.
- For example, if an athlete rolls an ankle in a volleyball match an immediate application of ice will cut down on long-term swelling and potentially lessen recovery time.
- How to Ice Ice injuries for 20 minutes at a time, with 20 minute breaks in between sessions.
- There is no long-term timeline for icing.
If desired, the volleyball player mentioned earlier could ice the injured ankle after every practice and game to alleviate potential soreness. Icing isn’t limited to an ice pack or frozen bag of peas. Different types of ice treatment will cater to different types of pain, including:
Cold whirlpools allowing for submersion of large parts of the lower bodyCold wraps over the eyes, forehead and temples to relieve the pain of migraine headachesBags of ice often available in athletic settings for quick treatment following injury
What happens if you ice for more than 20 minutes?
About Applying Ice – Ice constricts, or narrows, blood vessels. Constricting blood vessels inhibits the body from allowing inflammation in the iced area. Heat dilates, or widens blood vessels, allowing more inflammation to flow to an injured or painful area.
As a general rule of thumb, ice should be used if you have recently injured an area or had surgery or a procedure. Medical studies agree that 20 minutes of icing is most effective. You should ice with a cold compress or ice pack that is the temperature of a melting ice cube. Some people have cold allergies, which cause ice to burn the skin.
Put at least a thin towel between the ice and skin to avoid burned skin. Greater than 20 minutes of icing can cause reactive vasodilation, or widening, of the vessels as the body tries to make sure the tissues get the blood supply they need. Studies have also shown 30 to 40 minutes in between icing sessions are needed to counter this reaction.
- The suggested time for icing is 20 minutes on and at least 30 minutes off.
- Although many articles and studies may say that heat should be used for injuries and pain that have lingered for longer than six weeks, this is not necessarily the case.
- For conditions such as chronic tendonitis and osteoarthritis, the body thinks that it can heal the worn or injured area.
The body continues to go through a cycle of increased inflammation even though it cannot heal these conditions on its own. Icing for 20 minutes several times a day can work as well as, if not better than, oral medications and injections. By controlling inflammation, symptoms often resolve or improve and pain subsides.
How often should you ice for pain?
When to use ice – Ice should be used on acute injuries as soon as possible after they occur. Even if you plan to see a health care provider for diagnosis, apply ice to help reduce the swelling. Getting the injured tissue to a colder temperature will also help prevent further damage.
If ice is appropriate, get it on as soon as you can. If you roll your ankle or strain a muscle exercising, put ice on right away,” Jake said. Use an ice pack or a bucket of ice if one is available. If not, improvise. Packets of frozen vegetables work well. “In fact, a lot of times, frozen vegetables are better,” Jake said.
“They’re more malleable, and it’s easy to mold them around the uneven surface of an injury – which is better than a hard block that touches only one part of the injury.” Apply the ice for 20-30 minutes, then take a break for at least 10 minutes. Try to do that a minimum of four times a day, but you can do it hourly if you want.
How do you put ice on pain?
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW – Use an ice pack, a frozen towel, or, even a bag of frozen vegetables – peas and corn work great. Keep the ice on up to 20 minutes at a time, using a towel to avoid direct contact between the ice pack and your skin. Let the area get numb, wait and hour and then you can reapply the cold pack, if necessary.
- Ice should only be used up to three days following injury.
- After that, you might want to check-in with your doctor.
- Ice application to an acute injury is generally safe.
- To avoid the risks, limit your usage to 20 minutes at a time and avoid using “super cold” products.
- Don’t let yourself fall prey to frostbite due to prolonged application to fingers, toes, ears, nose.
And avoid nerve injury, particularly the ulnar nerve on the inside of your elbow and the peroneal nerve on the outside of your knee.
What does ice do to nerves?
Ice, Heat, or Both Maybe you went a little overboard at your aerobics class and are feeling it in your knees. Or the arthritis in your hands is causing lots of achiness and stiffness today. Should you use ice, heat, or a combination of both? Here is some basic information to help you make the right decision for your pain relief.
As a general rule of thumb, ice is used for acute injuries or pain along with inflammation and swelling. It is best to use heat therapy for muscle pain or stiffness. Heat therapy works by increasing circulation and blood flow to a particular area which causes an increased temperature which can help relax and soothe muscles and injured areas.
There are two different types of heat therapy, dry heat, and moist heat. Dry heat includes heating pads, dry heat packs, and even saunas. Moist heat includes steamed towels, moist heat packs, and hot baths. Moist heat may be slightly more effective and can require less application time with the same result.
Heat therapy is often helpful when used for a good amount of time, in some cases, 15-20 minutes is sufficient to help ease stiffness or tension. More severe pain can benefit from longer periods of heat therapy, such as a warm bath lasting anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. Risks of heat therapy include burning your skin if the heat becomes too hot or an increased risk of an existing infection spreading.
There are certain cases where applying heat is not the best option and cold therapy should be used. With bruising and/or swelling or in the case of an open wound, it may be better to use cold therapy. Additionally, people with certain medical conditions should not use heat therapy due to a higher risk of burns or complications.
Types of conditions include diabetes, dermatitis, vascular diseases, deep vein thrombosis, and MS. If you have hypertension or heart disease you should ask your doctor before using heat therapy. Cold therapy, which is also known as cryotherapy, reduces blood flow to a particular area. This reduces inflammation and swelling which can help ease pain.
Cold therapy is especially effective around a painful or stiff joint or tendon. This type of therapy also reduces nerve activity which further aids in the relief of pain. Types of cold therapy treatment can include ice packs, coolant sprays, ice massage, or ice baths.
- People with sensory problems that prevent them from feeling certain sensations, especially diabetes, should not use cold therapy as this can result in nerve damage and lessened sensitivity.
- Cold therapy should not be used if you have stiff muscles or joints or if you have poor circulation.
- When icing an injury, you should never apply ice or a frozen item directly to the skin as it could damage the skin and tissue.
Cold therapy should be applied as soon as possible after an injury and should only be used for short periods of time for around 10-15 minutes, but no longer than 20 minutes. Risks of cold therapy include skin, tissue, or nerve damage if the cold is applied for too long or too directly.
- Some injuries and types of pain can benefit from the combined use of both heat and cold therapy.
- Cold therapy can help with the initial inflammation and swelling of an acute injury and help numb the pain.
- Once the swelling has gone down, heat can increase blood flow to help ease the stiffness and soreness in the area.
This is often the case with swelling and pain caused by arthritis. It is often recommended to use a 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off process with both heat and cold therapy. In summary, ice is the answer for acute pain, inflammation, and swelling. Heat is the way to go for arthritis and injuries that last for more than six weeks.
If these therapies are not providing relief after consistent treatment, you should contact your physician for an evaluation to ensure there is not a more serious condition involved. For chronic inflammation, painful joints, muscle pain, and all your orthopedic care needs, The Orthopedic Specialists providers are here to help.
Call us today at (515) 955-6767 for all of your bone and joint issues, with no referral necessary! : Ice, Heat, or Both
Why is ice calming?
Music – If you want to avoid being cold or exercising, then you can try humming or singing. Research from 2013 shows that music has a soothing effect that can stimulate your vagus nerve. Since your vagus nerve is connected to your vocal cords, try singing or humming your favorite tune.