Injuries can be painful, depending on their type and location. One of the most common practices is to ice the injuries for instant pain relief and relaxation. Gel Ice Packs help reduce the risk of swelling, tissue damage and the rate of inflammation. Cold treatment does all this by reducing blood flow to an injured area and numbing sore tissues, slowing down pain messages that are being transmitted to the brain.
Cold therapy is most effective if used within 48 hours of an injury and is ideal for sprains, overuse injuries, muscle contusions, strains and bruises. Ice application does work wonders but only if it is done properly. People make some common mistakes while using gel ice packs on their injuries. You can read further to find out the proper use for making your cold therapy safe and effective.
Apply it for a brief time
You can purchase or make gel ice packs at home for use whenever required. Don’t ever apply these packs on the injured part for too long, as it would do more harm than good. As ice packs reduce the blood flow to the injured area, their long time application can result in nerve damage. Therefore, ensure that you apply the ice pack for only ten minutes at a go and then wait for about five minutes before their reapplication.
Apply it ASAP
The earlier you apply a gel ice pack on the injury, the better and more effective it is. If you apply it within 48 hours of the injury, it would prevent swelling around the injured part. If you manage to keep swelling at bay, you experience lesser pain and discomfort.
Avoid application on bare skin
It is but natural to have a strong urge to put gel ice packs instantly on the injured part for quick pain relief. However, you should avoid putting ice packs directly onto bare skin, for it could cause frostbite. Don’t forget to use a barrier in between, which could be a soft towel.
Don’t use an ice pack if:
There is a risk of cramping, there is blistered skin or open wound, the injured area is already numb or if you are hypersensitive to cold. Ice pack application should also be avoided if you have some sort of vascular disease or injury, a nerve disorder that affects blood flow, stiff joints and muscles or if the cold therapy hasn’t helped your injury within 48 hours of application.
Elevation of the injury is must
An ice pack can help you numb your injury and prevent swelling but an ice pack alone cannot help extreme injuries. If you notice that the injured part is swelling despite applying an ice pack, it means that elevation is also needed. So the key here is to apply an ice pack after lifting the injured part above the level of your heart. This amazing combination of cold therapy and elevation would reduce swelling and pain quickly and result in a speedier recovery.
Enough rest is required
Cold therapy can ease pain and prevent swelling but you need to follow several other preventive measures also. Rest is an important factor, which should never be ignored in times of injuries. You have to give your injury some rest so that it can regain its functionality within no time. Otherwise, the lack of rest can end up prolonging your injury.
Gel ice packs make injuries manageable and help them heal fast. To make the most of these cold therapies, people must know the best ways to use and apply them.