Ice Your Injury Effectively – Dr. Steve Crealese

Injuries are no joke, and neither is treating them! While many injuries can be treated at home with the application of ice, it is important to understand how to ice your injury effectively.

From sprained ankles to sore joints, ice application is a common home remedy. It is proven to reduce swelling and ease pain. Many patients will immediately reach for a frozen pack from the freezer or they will fill a bag with ice cubes. They will then apply them directly to the skin. This is not the ideal method! According to Dr. Crealese, ice application is most effective when it is at its freezing point, 32 degrees Fahrenheit. When it is applied directly from the freezer its temperature is at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Applying at this temperature will seem more like frostbite than treatment.

Dr. Crealese’s Advice:

Begin with a large plastic zip-lock bag. Fill the bag half way with ice cubes. Then, pour water into the bag. You will want to pour enough water to fill about 1/2 – 1/3 of the ice you originally placed in the bag. Once that is done, take the air out of the bag and lock it shut. Next, you will want to find a towel, or cloth. The towel should be the appropriate size for the injury. Soak this towel with warm water. Lay the towel over the injury and place the bag of ice and water on top. Leave the ice on the injury for 30-45 minutes.

It may seem simple, yet icing an injury effectively is the first step to a speedy recovery. Do not take ice from the freezer and apply it directly to your skin. Instead, add water to your ice bag. This will bring the temperature to, a more effective, 32 degrees Fahrenheit. For more information about how we can help you achieve a life full of health and wellness, visit our website at:

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