Applying ice to a sports injury is an excellent way to help reduce swelling and decrease pain. However, it is possible to overdo ice therapy. Too much direct contact with skin can actually cause frostbite, which can harm not only the skin surface but also the muscles and nerves beneath the skin.
Follow these basic guidelines for safe and effective ice therapy*:
- Use a store-bought gel pack or make your own pack with ice in a zipper-lock plastic bag.
- Don’t put the ice pack directly on the skin. Instead, place a wet washcloth or towel between the pack and your skin.
- In general, you can keep the ice pack on an injury for 20 to 30 minutes each hour.
- For injuries on bonier areas – elbows, knees, ankles – you may want to apply ice for shorter amounts of time. These areas could be more prone to frostbite, since they have less fat for insulation.
*For any serious injury, please contact your Doctor, prior to any treatment.
You can learn more about maintaining a healthy lifestyle by contacting the weight-loss professionals at HMC Weight Loss Centers. Give us a call today at (951) 547-1280 for more information about our Corona weight-loss clinic or (714) 543-2673 for our Tustin weight-loss clinic.