Contrary to popular belief, icing an injury after the first 24-48 hours isn't the best way to decrease inflammation as it slows blood flow to the area. Blood flow brings nutrients and takes away waste and this is best achieved with moist heat after the first 24-48 hours. Ice can be useful in management of pain with chronic injury by numbing the area. One of the most effective ways to do this is with an ice cup massage.
- Fill a 3-4 oz paper bathroom cup 3/4 of the way up with water and put it in your freezer.
- Tear away 3/4 of the paper cup (after ice is frozen) leaving the bottom of the cup for you to hold onto, and the ice exposed to rub onto your injury.
- rub the ice over the areas of pain or discomfort for 5 minutes or until numb whichever occurs first.
Do not apply ice for more than 5 minutes as this can lead to frostbite. Let's not create another injury! As always, seek medical attention for proper evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of your pain.