“The physician must be experienced in many things, but most assuredly in rubbing”, stated-Hippocrates, The Father of Modern Medicine. This statement clearly exhibits importance of rubbing/massage therapies.
No doubt, age old massage therapies are back! People are resorting to deep massage, tissue massage, ice massage, mud massage, stone massage and various other forms to get solution of their problems. These things are again gaining hold as side effects are very minimal compared to traditional medicines.
Here, I am going to discuss about ice massage and its efficacy in treating different injuries.
For muscle injuries, sprains and strains etc, ice is a fantastic therapy. If it is used properly, it can do wonders in treatment. Have a look at the way of using it.
Ice packs are available in market nowadays. Either you can use that or make a one yourself by crushing the ice and putting in a bag with small quantity of water.
Conformable Ice Pack
You must have used traditional hot water bottle. Fill it with mixture of alcohol and water and put in freezer. After few hours, it will be ready to use. As there is alcohol also, it will not freeze fully which makes it a better option to use compared to a fully solid ice block. Once you are done, put it again in the freezer but make sure to keep it out of children’s reach.
Conformable Ice Pack-2
Using frozen peas is also effective in treating injuries. This also suits well to body.
Gently massage the ice on injury till the area gets numb. This is a good therapy which can provide substantial relief from pain.
Soft Tissue Injury
Applying ice just after a soft tissue injury is very beneficial in reducing swelling and leakage of blood. Let’s discuss in some detail how to do it:
Apply ice in circular motion for 10 minutes and repeat it for every 2-3 hours in initial 2 days. But remember that applying ice for more than 10 minutes may increase blood flow resulting in increased swelling on that area.
You can also assist ice with compression, elevation and rest for better results.
Just after the application of ice, use compression bandage to reduce tissue swelling.
To put a limit to flow of blood, elevate the injured area.
For proper healing of tissues, doing sufficient rest is necessary. Not following this RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) technique properly will increase the duration of recovery. It may also create other long term health problems.
Back Pain and Ice Massage
Back pain is common but crucial problem. These days many people complain about back pain especially lower back. Lifestyle factors, eating habits, exercise regime can be the reasons of back pain apart from some specific injuries. For injuries resulting in back pain, taking ice massage is quite helpful.
You can use ice cubes but larger ice block creates better effect. Just freeze water in Styrofoam cup and then peel it off a bit. Patient should lie straight on stomach. To relieve stress from lower back, place a pillow under hip.
Gently rub the ice in circular motion for few minutes to have relief from pain. So, it’s now very clear that ice massage is very helpful when it comes to injuries. But you need to follow some guidelines for effective results. Here are some of them:
- Except ice massage (where you continuously moving it in circular motion), don’t use directly on skin. Use a cloth between.
- Don’t rub ice for more than 10-12 minutes in one stretch. Once the area gets numb, remove the piece. Using it for long may cause ice burn.
- Patients of Rheumatoid arthritis, cold-allergies, Raynaud’s syndrome, paralysis should not use ice therapy.
- If using it for back pain, apply it on around area of 6 inch from the place where you are feeling pain exactly.
- It’s always better to use the therapy after consultation with doctor or physician. You will get the right way to do it resulting in quick relief. Doing it in wrong manner may aggravate your problems.