How To Ice


  • Get the ice on quickly.
    Icing is most effective in the immediate period following an injury. The effect of icing diminishes significantly after about 48 hours. 
  • Perform an “ice massage.”
    Apply ice directly to the injury. Move the ice frequently, not allowing it to sit in one spot. 
  • Don’t forget to elevate.
    Keep the injured body part elevated above the heart while icing — this will further help reduce swelling. 
  • Watch the clock.
    Ice for 15-20 minutes, but never longer. You can cause further damage to the tissues, including frostbite, by icing for too long. 
  • Allow time between treatments.
    Allow area to warm for at least 45 minutes or an hour before beginning the icing routine again. 
  • Repeat as desired.
    Ice as frequently as you wish, so long as the area is warm to touch and has normal sensation before repeating.

Ice Option 1 — Traditional:

  • Use a Ziploc bag with ice cubes or crushed ice. Add a little water to the ice bag so it will conform to your body. 
  • Ice Option 2 — Best:
    Keep paper cups filled with water in your freezer. Peel the top of the cup away and massage the ice-cup over the injury in a circular pattern allowing the ice to melt away. 
  • Ice Option 3 — Creative:
    Use a bag of frozen peas or corn from the frozen goods section. This option provides a reusable treatment method that is also edible. 
  • Prevent Frostbite:
    Do not allow ice to sit against the skin without a layer of protection. Either continually move the ice (see “ice massage”) or use a thin towel between the ice and skin.



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