How To Ice An Injury and Avoid Frostbite

I have always assumed icing an injury is a simple procedure but after reading an article by Dr. Jonathan Cluett I was astonished to read that If you ice it too much you can cause further damage to the tissues, including frostbite, by icing for too long. The Doctor has listed the correct procedure on how to ice

1. Ice The Injury Immediately

The effect of icing diminishes significantly after about 48 hours.

2. Perform an Ice Massage

Move the ice around the injured area, not allowing it to sit in one spot. If you have watched Prison Break you should remember the episode in which Brad Bellick returned to Fox River state Prison and got badly beaten. Bellick pressed the ice against his swollen face, that was wrong. The right way was to move the ice around the swollen area.

3. Watch The Clock as you Ice

This is where many runners get it wrong, According to Dr. Jonathan Ice for 15-20 minutes, but never longer. You can cause further damage to the tissues, including frostbite, by icing for too long. Remember that!

4. Allow time between Ice treatment

Allow area to warm for at least 45 minutes or an hour before beginning the icing routine again

5. Repeat the Icing

Ice as frequently as you wish, so long as the area is warm to touch and has normal sensation before repeating.

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Article courtesy of About dot com.

One thought on “How To Ice An Injury and Avoid Frostbite

  1. Gary

    I’ve been used to icing all my life since I was a former 4 sport athlete (football; baseball; basketball and track.) I have even left the ice contained in a plastic bag on all night at times and never experience any negative side-effects. Well, I tore the ligaments in both knees (no operation) and use ice everyday to treat the pain and swelling because I never stop playing “injured or not.” This time though I have been using a plastic water bottle with frozen water to rub the front/sides/back of both knees. Finally, 2 weeks ago I put a bag of ice on and went to sleep as usual but this time..I got burned “frost bite”… the skin looks like I fell down and scraped my knee. The skin is now peeling with a lesion that is open but healing okay. The funny thing is I never felt any pain–I didn’t notice it until I was at the gym and pull out the frozen bottle of water to rub over my knees. It’s true after 48 hours, ice has probably reached it’s maximum effect but believe me, it helps nonetheless with pain. Otherwise, there would be no way I could play with torn ligaments. One month later know, I’m almost pain free and haven’t iced in a week. I’ve spent the last two weekends practicing without ice and no swelling. This is the 3rd time I’;ve torn ligaments and never have had it surgically repaired…ice has always worked wonders for me.

    Just my two cents worth.


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