Use of Ice Pack
The use of ice packs helps to reduce swelling and inflammation, decrease pain from injury, and decrease the pain associated with muscle spasm and trigger points. When swelling is present, it helps to elevate the swollen area during the ice pack treatment.
The Gel packs are relatively inexpensive at any of the local drugstores. Many of them can also be used for heat therapy (but not all), make sure that you read the instructions if you plan on using one for heat as well as cold.
Never place the gel pack directly on bare skin. Always wrap the gel packs in a towel or washcloth. Gel packs can cause frostbite damage to the skin.
Place ice gel pack in freezer for about two hours.
Remove gel pack from freezer.
Place a flexible gel ice pack in a damp towel. (Crushed ice in a plastic bag may be substituted)
Place ice pack over the painful or swollen area. It may help to strap the pack on with an elastic strap.
Keep ice pack in place for approximately 20 minutes.
(Ice packs go through 3 stages, the area feels cold, the area feels “achy”, and finally the area feels numb. You want to leave the ice pack in place for about 5 minutes after reaching the numb stage.)
Remove ice pack.
This may be repeated if needed for relief of pain and/or swelling. You must wait at least 45-60 minutes for the area to re-warm itself before reapplying the ice pack.
Another alternative is to use a bag of frozen peas (or veggie of your choice) wrapped in a damp cloth.
1. Always use a washcloth or towel between the ice pack and skin.
2. Apply only for 10-20 minutes at a time.