Using Ice Safely

A reduction in pain and swelling in an acute injury helps you start to move more comfortably and aids early rehabilitation.

Ice is useful to reduce the heat, pain and swelling associated with soft tissue or joint injury. This can be done immediately following an acute injury, such as a sprained ankle or for more long standing aches and pains that have been aggravated by activity.

Benefits of Ice Therapy

  • Reduce swelling
  • Pain relief
  • Reduces muscle pain and spasm
  • Helps you to perform normal movement and activities more quickly

You can use:

  • A bag of frozen peas
  • Crushed ice cubes in a plastic bag
  • Gel packs from the freezer

How to use:

  • To avoid damage to your skin wrap ice in a damp tea-towel before application
  • Apply ice for up to 10 minutes with gentle pressure 2-3 times per day until symptoms subside or as required in long-standing (chronic) injuries

Do not use ice packs:

  • Over broken skin or wounds
  • If you have poor sensation or over an area of skin that is numb, especially if you have Diabetes
  • Over areas of the body with known poor circulation or for people who have a diagnosis of Raynaud’s disease
  • With a diagnosis of hypersensitivity to cold
  • In the presence of infection

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