Summer is officially here, which brings along a lot of fun outdoor activities. What do we do when our loved ones sprain their ankle or knee over the weekend, and can’t see a chiropractor/physical therapist until the next business day? You better be packing some ice!

Health care practitioners frequently prescribe ice for a wide range of muscle and joint complaints. The use of cold therapy, or cryotherapy, is often applied to a new injury or an acute exacerbation of old injury to minimize inflammation. It is the safest, simplest, and most effective way of treating sprains, strains, muscle spasms, swelling and bruises.

What will I Feel?
When ice is properly applied, the following sensations will occur in the following order during a normal treatment:

  • Cold
  • Painful or burning sensation
  • Increasing discomfort or aching feeling
  • Numbness or significant pain reduction

How do I apply Cold Therapy?
The easiest, safest and most effective way of applying ice at home is to use a plastic bag half filled with ice cubes and wrapped in a single layer of a damp towel. Ice should be applied directly over the injury for a period of 15-20 minutes. It can be reapplied as necessary so long as there is a 60 minute wait between applications. This is to allow the temperature of the injured tissue to return to normal. Generally, the application of ice to a new or recently aggravated injury is most effective in the first 24-72 hours.

If you have problems with circulation or decreased sensation in the injured area, talk to your chiropractor before beginning treatment.

Dr. Hayford Anane, DC
Associate Doctor of Chiropractic
Sport and Spine Rehab of McLean

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