Health Benefits of Ice Therapy

Often, we use ice for getting relief from the heat. But there are therapeutic merits of the ice. Over 20 years new studies have been carried out for Ice therapy. Here under we give such results for your benefit.

Action of Ice:

Ice can safely be used for the first aid and initial problems with muscles, injury to any body part and also for the later stages. If used immediately, it can control the damage done due to any injury. The swelling of body part if not checked can damage the area and worsen the effect of injury by not letting the muscle and tissue to swell, form a clot and inflammation. One must take action at the earliest, and proceed with ice pack treatment and not wait long after an injury occurs. It is the primary care even before the first aid given.
Ice pack decreases the following and has six-fold actions:
1) Pain 2) sudden involuntary contraction or convulsion of muscle
3) swelling, puffiness; redness; rawness, soreness, tenderness; infection,
4) Blood clot formation 5) tissue deformation, 6) inflammation and general swelling in the area of injury

During this process of controlling of an injury by ice pack, the following action take place – 1) Slow but steady healing, 2) Supply of nutrients into the damaged area. 3) Waste products management, doing away with the metabolites 4) The general strength returns slowly. The best part is that the beneficial effects not limited due to age, sex or size of the injury under treatment,

There are four stages of Ice therapy, namely 1) Cold, 2) Piercing or puncturing and burning 3) Paining 4) Numbness.

The last stage is important. The ice pack is taken off when the area affected gets numbed. No more than 20 to 30 minutes of numbness is allowed. The process gets repeated if necessary.

It may be understood here that ice therapy benefits maximum immediately after the occurrence of injury, because the blood vessels get constricted, and the tissues’ temperature fall, the cell metabolism is also reduced. Blood flow decreases so that cells do not die. After about 20 minutes the blood vessels dilate thus increasing tissue temperature. The therapy needs repetition, vasodilation( re – dilation of blood vessels) occurs but ice therapy will restrict outflow of blood.

Ice therapy increases the lymphatic drainage, thereby healing can occur faster, and reduction in pain is the result.

Some immediate uses of Ice therapy are as follows: –
1) If a thorn or barb embeds in flesh, first thaw the area by rubbing ice around once benumbed, the barb can easily be removed.
2) If stomach upset due to overeating, take some cubes of ice the food will get digested soon.
3) In high fever use ice bandage on forehead – to control the rise in temperature.
4) If the body affected by nausea, chew ice for relief.
5) If affected due to sunstroke, rub ice packs under armpits, groin, neck, and back and get immediate relief. –
6) Rubbing ice on the face will reduce and slow down the wrinkle formation, and face will start to glow.
7) Place ice cube at the anus on a newly born baby if it does not cry or does not breath, it will change the situation.
8) Bleeding stops on applying an ice pack at any place.
9) Sucking the ice, vomiting stops and Cholera is controlled.


Former Sailing Sea Captain at V.Ships, Miami, FL, USA (retired in 2009). Studied BA (Sophomore) at The Principia, now lives in Jaipur, India

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