Ice is used to treat acute soft tissue injuries and can also be used for rehabilitation of chronic injuries. Ice can be applied immediately after a strain, strain, or sprain to reduce swelling and pain. This speeds up recovery and prevents further injury. The first 24 to 48 hours after an injury occurs is the acute phase. During this phase, ice should be applied and then stopped.

 Ice Therapy

Ice treatment is a common home remedy to treat minor injuries like bumps, muscle pain, or muscle pain. Many people use bags of crushed ice, or frozen peas, for this purpose. There are a few ways to use ice to treat soft tissues injuries. Wrap a towel with a bag of melting water. Ice is not enough.

Commercial ice packs can be inconsistent in temperature, being either too cold or too cold. Commercial cold packs can be used as part of a first-aid kit in situations where ice is not readily available. While a bag of frozen peas can be used in an emergency, ice water is better at reducing the temperature of soft tissues.

Cold Compress

Cold compresses for sports injuries should not to be confused with commercial ice packs like Rubbermaid’s Blue Ice Packs, which are used to keep food cool in coolers. These packs are too cold to be used on injuries. They can cause skin damage and nerve damage.

Cryotherapy’s goal is to lower the temperature of the joint or muscle and to maintain this temperature during the initial phase of healing from an acute injury. It is best to wait around ten minutes. You risk damaging the skin and possibly causing pain in the muscles. This is counterproductive as it can cause the muscle to spasm. To further injure tissue, don’t icing for too long. The temperature target is 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius). The skin temperature will return to normal with repeated, short-term applications.

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However, the temperature of the muscles will remain low. Because of the tendency to cause tissue “heating”, direct ice application is not recommended for prolonged cooling of muscles. Ice is best for immediate return to play in competitive sports. Ice can affect reflex and coordination. It is not possible to use your ankle if you have sprain it and then ice it. This is where compression wrap is used to stabilize the joint.

If you are not able to return to training immediately due to injuries from training, then stop training immediately and rest for a few minutes before applying ice for a further ten minutes. Wait for the skin temperature return to normal and then go back to training. Cold water immersion can be used to treat joint injuries within 24 hours.

Good to know

There is some evidence that immersion is more effective than ice for reducing swelling. It can be used to cool the area in a concentrated and direct way. However, immersion is not useful for injuries to the hand or foot. Ice therapy must be focused on the injured area in order to be effective. Injuries to other parts of your body require that a large area be submerged and cooled.

Ice massage is sometimes recommended instead of ice packs. Ice massage can be done in two ways. First, freeze water in a small cup of paper. Then, rip the cup’s top to expose the top layer. For a period of ten minutes, massage the inured area using circular motions. This method is often compared to ice water bags. This conclusion is not supported by any evidence. Although it may feel colder to apply ice directly to the skin, the goal is to reduce the temperature of the underlying soft tissues and not to freeze the skin. It will be more difficult to maintain the ice application if the skin temperature drops too quickly.

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Even if the ice cup is kept moving, ice massage can be very uncomfortable and most people won’t want to continue it for more than ten minutes.


Ice therapy is most effective when a buffer is placed between the cold pack (or the skin) and the tissue to allow the treatment to last long enough to cool the tissues slowly without causing any pain or injuring the skin. The most effective cryotherapy methods are plastic bags containing ice water for soft tissue injuries, and cold water immersion for hand or foot injuries. After 48 hours, discontinue ice therapy. The use of ice for longer periods after the initial 48 hours may slow down healing rather than speed it up. However, heat should not be applied for 72 hours after the injury. These tips are not intended to replace professional medical advice.


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