Today’s Dispotech blog article takes a closer look at the correct use of an icepack: when to use them and, above all, for how long? Is there a way of knowing when to take the icepack off from the part of the body that hurts? We will answer these questions with the support of an article published on verywellhealth.com.
Knowing how long it takes to cool down a painful body part with an ice pack or an ice bag is important information that can protect us from unpleasant side effects - for example, cold burns or lack of blood flow. Doctors and experts generally recommend cooling a painful or swollen part for no more than 10 minutes, but several times during the day.
The effects of ice and the benefits of cold therapy are well known, especially when it comes to fighting inflammation. And if the latter manifests itself in the form of pain, swelling and redness of the skin, ice can help:
- by cooling the part;
- by initiating vasoconstriction;
- by providing pain relief.
Perhaps the 10 minutes icepack treatment may not be enough for your inflammation or, on the contrary, it may be too much and you cannot bear it.
There is an effective method for determining how long to keep ice on a sore area: the CBAN method. This is an acronym explaining the four sensations that you should experience, one after the other, when you apply ice to a painful area of the body.
- C: for cold: the feeling you get as soon as you put something cold/chilled on your skin.
- B: for burning: a few minutes after applying the ice, a slight burning sensation occurs.
- A: for aching: after the burning, there is a sensation of pain and discomfort.
- N: for numbness: the pain is replaced by a momentary numbness of the part: it is time to remove the ice.
If you don't have an ice pack available, you can try making an emergency one at home. One solution could be, for example, to fill a plastic bag with water and a few tablespoons of denatured alcohol - the alcohol will ensure that the water does not become a single block of ice as it freezes. After a few hours in the freezer, your home-made icepack is ready to be used multiple times.
The benefits of ice are real and are very helpful when experiencing localised pain. To clear any possible doubts or if the pain persists, consult your doctor!
What do you think about this article? Contact Dispotech and have your say!