Ice is very effective for quick relief of pain from inflammation such as a new lower back sprain, neck pain or shoulder injury.
When there is inflammation there is swelling and a lot of the pain you get comes from the pressure of this swelling. Ice will reduce the swelling as well as block the perception of pain. Heat, on the other hand, tends to promote swelling and is generally not the best on a new injury.
Used correctly, ice is very effective. Here’s how to do it right:
- Buy a bag of ice from the supermarket.
- Place three cups of the ice in a plastic bag & tie it off.
- Wet a tea-towel & wring it out thoroughly.
- Wrap the bag in the tea-towel so that only 1 layer of towel covers it.
- Apply this directly to the inflamed area for 20 minutes.
- Take it off for 10 minutes break and replace the ice.
- Apply for a second period of 20 minutes.
- Take it off for 10 minutes and replace the ice again.
- Apply for the third time for 20 minutes to finish. This will give a deep penetrating cold that will sooth the area of inflammation. You can repeat throughout the day if needed.