I know there has been a lot of confusion on if you should use ice or heat after an injury. Some research states that the use of ice may delay the natural healing cascade provided by your body in order to heal. Others state that ice is good to help manage the inflammation caused by the injury. In my experience I have found ice to be helpful in managing acute injury for the first 72 hours after the injury has occurred.
One of the ways to administer ice is by doing an ice massage, which can be very beneficial around the joints such as the wrists, ankle and knees. Ice massage is a form of cryotherapy that is performed for no more than 5 minutes. Apply the ice cup over the involved area in small circular motion. This helps decrease pain and constrict blood flow to the area while mobilizing the soft tissues in a similar way as a massage. Hence the name: ice massage.
Here is a simple way to make your own ice cup for massage.
- Purchase a pack of Dixie cups from your local store.
- Fill it approximately ¾ this with water.
- Put this in the freezer overnight.
- When it is frozen solid, tear the bottom of the Dixie cup off. Leave the top portion of the Dixie cup on, so that you can hold the ice.
Be sure to check with your healthcare provider to see if this technique will work for you.
Yours in health,
Dr. Erica ~