Ice (the great healer)

June 7, 2017 6:56 pm Published by
I can’t emphasise enough the importance of ice when it comes to the repairing soft tissue damage, whether it’s a sprained ankle, strained muscles or DOMS.  Ice limits the body’s natural responses as it reduces the circulation and metabolism at the site of injury. This will minimise inflammation, swelling, muscle spasm and pain, but does not inhibit the soft tissue repair process.

I have often found that many people don’t get the full benefits of using ice because they either don’t apply the ice to the injured area for long enough or don’t repeat the process enough throughout the day. However, if you do follow the right protocol you will be amazed at the benefits.

Ice should be applied for 10 to 20 minutes, dependent on the area being treated, every two waking hours (or at least a two to three times a day) during the acute and sub-acute stages.

Ice can also help during the chronic stage, particularly after a massage or any type of manipulation.

The best way of applying ice is using a gel pack which you can get from any good chemist or on line, they can be moulded to cover the affected area and they maintain the right temperature for a decent amount of time. However, in emergencies you can use crushed ice in a plastic bag or frozen peas etc.

Be aware that ice does vary in temperature, it might only be -2 degrees if you get it from an ice machine, but -22 degrees straight from your freezer, so don’t ever apply ice to your skin without some sort of barrier, you could do more harm than good.

Also be aware that you should not use ice as a treatment if you are elderly, or if you suffer from circulatory problems, Reynaud’s disease, cardiac problems, severe diabetes or if you have had radiotherapy/chemotherapy.

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This post was written by Chris Wood

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